I'm betting on ye firing squad, personally:
Pa. senator says slavery would pass in a secret ballot
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state senator told a black pastor testifying at a committee hearing that, given the chance to cast secret ballots, his fellow legislators would vote to legalize slavery.
Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, D-Philadelphia, made the comments Tuesday during a hearing on a Republican-sponsored bill to amend the state Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriages and civil unions, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on its Web site Wednesday.
“What you are advocating here is that we take away the rights of a minority. And I don’t think that’s right,” Fumo, a staunch defender of gay rights, told the witness, Gilbert Coleman Jr., senior pastor of Freedom Christian Bible Fellowship in Philadelphia.
He added, “If we introduced a bill on slavery, it might pass. That doesn’t make it right.”
Coleman, who was testifying in favor of the measure, responded: “I doubt that sir.” “Oh, don’t bet on it in this General Assembly,” Fumo countered. “I know some people up here, especially on a secret ballot, it would be almost unanimous.”
Fumo declined to comment Wednesday, but said he would release a statement through his spokesman later in the day.
Fumo, who is white, is in his last months in office after a 30-year career as a state senator. He decided not to seek re-election because of pending federal corruption charges that accuse him of using his state staff for personal and outside work.