On Friday, Pennsylvania Senator John Eichelberger, who is sponsoring a bill to ban same-sex marriage in the state, held a radio debate with Senator Daylin Leach, who is sponsoring a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. In the interview, Eichelberger said there's no reason to allow gay couples to marry and said that they're not being punished. In fact, he lauds the fact that gay couples are allowed to exist.
LEACH: How would he [Eichelberger] want to encourage stability in gay couples?
EICHELBERGER: I wouldn’t. I mean they can practice whatever sexual activity they like to practice, but there’s no reason to give them special consideration. We don’t give them special consideration in Pennsylvania for any reason. Why in the world would we allow them to marry?
LEACH: How would you encourage gay couples to be able to provide for their families?
EICHELBERGER: Well, I wouldn't.
LEACH: What would you expect of them?
EICHELBERGER: There is no reason to encourage that type of behavior in Pennsylvania...That comes back to the definition of family and that’s where we differ. We can call all kinds of things families. I mean, we can say a 3 party marriage is a family, or 7 or 8 people or marrying younger and younger children these days .
HOST: Are you saying that by their very nature homosexual relationships are dysfunctional?
EICHELBERGER: [Pause] Um. I guess I would say that. I would say that.
LEACH: Should our only policy towards [same-sex] couples be one of punishment, to somehow prove that they’ve done something wrong? Eichelberger: They’re not being punished. We’re allowing them to exist, and do what every American can do. We’re just not rewarding them with any special designation.
Video of an online petition that has clips from the radio show