Pennsylvania Senate Panel tables bill to ban the Freedom to Marry

The latest effort to amend Pennsylvania's constitution to effectively ban marriage equality is stalling.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee voted narrowly Tuesday to table the measure defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

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Pennsylvania Senate Committee to vote on Marriage Ban

A Pennsylvania State Senate committee is expected to vote tomorrow (March 16, 2010) on a proposed constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry.

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Video: PA State Senator Daylin Leach speaks on the Freedom to Marry

Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach, a Freedom to Marry Voice for Equality, speaks in the Capitol building in Harrisburg on his bill, SB 935 that, if passed would honor the marriages of gay couples in Pennsylvania.

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Proponents rally in support of Freedom to Marry bill for Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
February 9, 2010

Proponents of the freedom to marry gathered on the steps of the PA Capitol rotunda Monday and chanted, "Pennsylvania can't you see -- what equality means to me." They were supporters of Senate Bill 935, by Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, which would honor the marriages of gay couples. Leach said laws outlawing marriage equality are "the last bastion of society-sanctioned discrimination." [Link]

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Social issues dominate Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
January 29, 2010

The Democratic candidates for governor Friday night were sharply divided on the issue of legalizing the freedom to marry. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty and Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel received applause from about 300 people gathered at the PA Progressive Summit when they said they support legislation to allow gays and lesbians to marry. [Link] See video below:

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Pennsylvania courts to offer LGBT domestic-partner benefits

Philadelphia Gay News
January 28, 2010
Employees of Pennsylvania’s court system who are in same-sex relationships will now be entitled to the same benefits as their heterosexual married counterparts. The domestic-partner policy, announced Jan. 29 to all employees through a memo with their paystubs, will allow the partners of gay and lesbian staffers to be included on the medical, dental, vision and prescription-drug plans currently offered to married heterosexual couples. [Link]

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Freedom to Marry Week events in PA

Freedom to Marry Pennsylvania
January 25, 2010

A listing of events going on in the state of Pennsylvania for Freedom to Marry Week. Cities listed include: Harrisburg, Allentown, Philadelphia and Pottsville. [Link]

Get involved and learn about Freedom to Marry Week here, and let us know about events planned in your area!

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Community Engagement Campaign Visits Rural Communities to Establish Common Ground and Understanding

Out In The Silence
November 30, 2009
Following the story of a small American town confronting a firestorm of controversy ignited by a wedding announcement for a same-sex couple in the local newspaper, the documentary, Out in the Silence, illustrates the challenges of being an outsider in a conservative rural community and the change that is possible when courageous people break the silence and search for common ground.

The OITS Community Engagement Campaign reports:
For the past six weeks, we've been crisscrossing Pennsylvania, and traveling to places like Iowa, Massachusetts, and Texas, doing screenings on high school and college campuses as well as in churches and community theaters, with the help of an amazing array of state and local organizations. At each event, there has been a diverse and lively audience ready to engage in dialogue and in the search for common ground on issues that have divided our communities for far too long.

Upcoming screenings and discussion groups:
Charleston, SC - January 14, 2010
Lancaster, PA - January 17, 2010
Bloomington, IN - January 30, 2010
Harrisburg, PA - January 31, 2010

[Link]

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Specter Sixth Senator To Change Thinking On Marriage Equality

ON TOP Magazine
October 28, 2009
While the five senators who changed their minds before Specter hail from states where marriage equality is legal or, in the case of New York, there is widespread support for it, polls indicate a majority of voters in Pennsylvania do not support the freedom to marry. [Link]

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Views Evolving…Place by Place, Issue by Issue, Person by Person

Law Dork
October 27, 2009
Chris Geidner comments on Sen. Arlen Specter's (D-Pa.) new support of repealing the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and praises Specter's and some other politicians' evolving views on LGBT equality. [Link]

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