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.
- 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 39% saying they believe marriage should be legal for same-sex couples, with 48% opposed. Last fall, the spread was 36-52. 42% of black Pennsylvanians support the freedom to marry. (Public Policy Polling, June 2012)
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
In the past week, nine U.S. Senators have announced their support for the freedom to marry, explaining how their views have evolved and how they have come to understand that now is the time to stand on the Right Side of History.
In the past week, the state Democratic Party organizations in Pennsylvania, Montana, Texas and Wisconsin have modified their official platforms to include a plank calling for the freedom to marry.
This week, five new mayors from Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia signed onto our Mayors for the Freedom to Marry initiative.
Resources Related to Pennsylvania
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".