STATUS: Anti-marriage law
TAKE ACTION: State advocacy groups are working toward fairness for all of Pennsylvania's families by blocking attempts to write discrimination into the state constitution.
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:
- 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.
- Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.
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
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.'
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.
Since 2009, photographer, writer and filmmaker Barbara Proud (or B. Proud) has been adding to that collection of real stories, curating photos and video for her project First Comes Love, which captures the love and commitment of same-sex couples in long-term relationships.
Resources Related to Pennsylvania
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.
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Pennsylvania.
Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".