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 week, we asked supporters of the freedom to marry to share their favorite Halloween costumes with us. We got some great entries from our supporters - and we thank everyone for submitting!
On National Coming Out Day, stories like Michael's and Glenn's remind us that when LGBT people "come out," they provoke change in their friends, in their families, and in their communities.
Today, Freedom to Marry launched a new step forward in the campaign to amplify support for marriage among our nation's mayors and demonstrate support among elected officials in every state in the country, Light Up the Map. The new goal set for the program is reaching 500 mayors representing all 50 states.
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".