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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is the 2nd U.S. state, admitted to the Union on Dec. 12, 1787. Its most populous city is Philadelphia, and its capital is Harrisburg.

Marriage Equality: Pennsylvania has had a statute defining marriage as the union of “one man and one woman” and banning the recognition of same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions since 1996. Repeated attempts to pass a constitutional amendment have failed in the state legislature since 2006. State laws banning same-sex marriage are currently being challenged in state and federal court; the cases are Ballen v. Corbett (State) and Whitewood v. Wolf (Federal)

For information on state laws relating to LGBT rights, discrimination, hate crimes and adoption, click here.

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Internet sleuths identify possible suspects in Philly gay bashing incident

| Tuesday, September 16, 2014
philly-alleged-suspects-2
Internet sleuths appear to have identified many of the suspects wanted in connection with a brutal attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia last week, and the alleged attackers are making arrangements to surrender to police for questioning. The Philadelphia police department on Tuesday released surveillance video of the large group of suspected attackers as they walked along...

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Friends, witnesses say Philadelphia attack on gay couple was a hate crime

| Monday, September 15, 2014
Caryn Kunkle posted this image on Facebook of injuries one of her friends sustained in an attack in Philadelphia last week.
PHILADELPHIA — Police in Philadelphia continue to investigate a brutal attack on a same-sex couple that left the victims with shattered cheek bones and other facial injuries. Friends and witnesses said there is no question the men were targeted because they are gay.

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Attack on gay Philadelphia couple leaves man with broken facial bone

| Saturday, September 13, 2014
hate-crimes
PHILADELPHIA -- Police in Philadelphia are investigating a downtown attack on two gay men that left one with a broken facial bone. Police are investigating the assault blocks from Rittenhouse Square as a potential hate crime.

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Officials say officer did not use excessive force at Pittsburgh gay pride

| Sunday, September 7, 2014
Souroth Chatterji
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh city officials have determined that a police officer did not use excessive force when he punched a woman at a gay pride event in June. City Solicitor Lourdes Sanchez-Ridge made the announcement Friday afternoon. The officer, Souroth Chatterji, said he was trying to break up a fight when he grabbed the woman by the head and punched...

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ON THE BLOG

Emails reveal school canceled musical for ‘homosexual themes,’ then lied about it

Think Progress | Thursday, August 28, 2014
Spamalot
Earlier this summer, a northern Pennsylvania high school announced it was canceling a production of the musical Monty Python’s Spamalot next spring because it included a same-sex wedding. Despite the school’s attempt to spin a different rationale, emails procured by Keystone Progress through Pennsylvania’s “Right To Know” law confirm that it was, in fact, canceled for its “homosexual themes.”

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Nation’s oldest gay bookstore to reopen in Philadelphia

| Monday, August 25, 2014
Shown is a historical marker outside of Ed Hermance's Giovanni's Room, the nation's oldest gay bookstore on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA -- The nation's oldest gay bookstore will reopen next month in Philadelphia after closing three months ago due to financial problems. Philly AIDS Thrift says it's taking over the shop called Giovanni's Room. It had closed in May after 41 years, citing competition from online outlets. Philly AIDS Thrift already operates a secondhand store whose proceeds ...

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Bakery refuses cake for same-sex couple after ‘talking to Jesus for 2 weeks’

| Thursday, August 14, 2014
Cake Pros in Schuylkill Haven, Pa.
SCHUYKILL HAVEN, Pa. -- A bakery in Schuylkill County, Pa., is the latest Pennsylvania business to deny service to a same-sex couple after the owner "talked to Jesus for two weeks." Jennifer and Bethany Petrich tells WBRE-TV they wanted a cake for a ceremony to renew their vows.

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Bridal shop won’t serve lesbian couples because it ‘would break God’s law’

| Friday, August 8, 2014
W.W. Bridal, Bloomsburg, Pa.
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- A bridal store's refusal to sell wedding gowns to a same-sex couple is stirring debate in a central Pennsylvania town. The Press Enterprise reports two women — who wish to remain anonymous — tried to schedule an appointment at W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pa., but were turned down after the shop owner learned they were a lesbian couple...

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Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese approves same-sex marriages

| Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Bishop Dorsey McConnell
PITTSBURGH — The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh says its clergy may sign marriage certificates between same-sex couples. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Monday that the rule is spelled out in a recent letter from Bishop Dorsey McConnell. McConnell has expressed reservations about the theology behind the church’s marriage rite...

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Third Circuit denies Pa. clerk’s bid for en banc hearing to fight gay marriage case

| Monday, August 4, 2014
Theresa Santai-Gaffney
PHILADELPHIA -- A federal appeals court has rejected a Pennsylvania county clerk's latest effort to overturn a federal judge’s ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Monday denied a request by Theresa Santai-Gaffney, the Register of Wills and Orphans’ Court Clerk for ...

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