Pennsylvania

STATUS:

Anti-marriage law

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

Marriage supporters from across the state have joined together to form Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania, a public education campaign designed to begin the conversation about the freedom to marry for all loving, committed couples in the state. Take the pledge with Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania HERE.

Several lawsuits have also been filed in Pennsylvania seeking the freedom to marry or respect for same-sex couples' out-of-state marriages. Follow the Marriage Litigation in Pennsylvania.

As these cases makes their way up through the courts, Pennsylvanians across the state will continue to do the work of having conversations about why marriage matters and creating a climate for victory.

HISTORY:

Several times in the past six years, the Pennsylvania state legislature has proposed or voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman, but to date, the amendment has never been passed the legislature.

In 1996, the Pennsylvania legislature approved a state statute that forbids the government from recognizing or performing marriages or other forms of family status for same-sex couples.

GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:

  • Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples in Pennsylvania. 
  • Equality Pennsylvania works to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in Pennsylvania through coalition building, education, organizing, and policy reform. Formerly, the organization was called the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, and later, Equality Advocates PA.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization dedicated to defending and expanding individual rights and personal freedoms throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania.
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.

POLLING DATA: 

Pennsylvania residents are moving forward on marriage, with majority support: 53% say they favor a constitutional amendment that would allow same-sex couples to get married, with 37% saying they "strongly" favor it. Just 43% say they are opposed. (Franklin & Marshall Poll, May 2013)

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 22,336 same-sex couples are living in Pennsylvania, representing 4.5 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Blog Posts Related to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania marriage lawsuit will proceed without trial on fast track for ruling

Today, the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a motion for summary judgment in their federal challenge to the PA marriage ban, asking the judge to rule on the briefs alone and forgo the trial that had been scheduled for June 9.

‘Love & Devotion’ event will feature screening of ‘The Devotion Project’

This month, The William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia, PA will host an event showcasing the stories and images of same-sex couples for 'Love & Devotion.'

Momentum Update: How marriage moved forward this week in purple and red states

It’s hard to keep up with the flurry of activity around marriage, particularly in more conservative states. Here’s what’s going on and what you may have missed.

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Resources Related to Pennsylvania

The Demise of Federal DOMA: New Financial Planning Strategies for PA Couples

While a lawsuit in Pennsylvania is ongoing and we are uncertain of its ultimate outcome, one thing is clear. LGBT citizens, those who are residents of our commonwealth and indeed LGBT citizens across the entire nation, must re-evaluate their estate and tax planning.

Pennsylvania Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Pennsylvania.

Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey

Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

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