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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Douglas Spady

Police identify suspect they say raped, robbed Canadian visitor he met on Grindr

Saturday, April 12, 2014
PHILADELPHIA -- Police in Philadelphia have identified the man they say sexually assaulted, beat and robbed a Canadian tourist after the two men met on Grindr. [ Read more → ]
Philadelphia-Grindr-assault

Canadian visitor assaulted, beaten, robbed after meeting man on Grindr

Friday, April 11, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- A Canadian man visiting Philadelphia for an education conference says he was sexually assaulted, beaten and robbed after meeting another man on the gay hookup app Grindr. [ Read more → ]
Mike Schlossberg

Pennsylvania lawmaker to introduce same-sex ‘divorce equality’ bill

Thursday, April 10, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pa. — While lawsuits challenging Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage make their way through state and federal courts, a state lawmaker says he plans legislation to grant same-sex couples the right to divorce. [ Read more → ]
pennsylvania

Key cases loom in Pennsylvania same-sex marriage fight

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
PHILADELPHIA -- When U.S. District Judge Mary McLaughlin decides this year whether Pennsylvania must recognize same-sex marriages from other states, she'll do so from her perch above Independence Mall, where about 40 people staged an early gay rights protest in 1965. For decades afterward,... [ Read more → ]
Gov. Tom Corbett (R-Pa.)

Pa. lawyers defend state’s gay marriage ban, ask court to dismiss lawsuit

Thursday, February 20, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Lawyers for Gov. Tom Corbett's administration are urging a state judge to uphold Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage by throwing out a lawsuit brought by more than two dozen same-sex couples that challenges its constitutionality. [ Read more → ]
Matt Rourke, APBob, left, and Bill Sullivan take off their wedding rings before entering the marriage license bureau at City Hall, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Philadelphia. The Sullivans were denied a marriage license along with an effort have their out-of-state marriage recognized.

Advocates pursue varying strategies to bring same-sex marriage to Pa.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
PHILADELPHIA — Marriage bureau officials in Philadelphia expressed their support Tuesday for same-sex couples, but said they cannot grant them marriage licenses until the law changes in Pennsylvania. [ Read more → ]
Bob Brown, Richmond Times-DispatchVirginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks during a news conference at his office in Richmond, Va., Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 where he applauded the overnight decision by a federal judge to strike down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage.

Growing number of attorneys general refusing to defend gay marriage bans

Friday, February 14, 2014
NORFOLK, Va. — The day after a federal judge struck down Virginia's gay-marriage ban, state Attorney General Mark Herring wasn't vowing to appeal or insisting his state's law was sound. [ Read more → ]
Pa. lawmakers Reps. Brian Sims (right) and Steve McCarter have introduced a bill that would allow same-sex couples to get married legally in Pennsylvania.

Pa. same-sex marriage advocates keep eyes on state case, federal court rulings

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Federal court decisions to overturn bans on same-sex marriage in two conservative states may not have an immediate effect in Pennsylvania, the only northeastern state that does not recognize gay marriages. [ Read more → ]
Matt Rourke, APShown is the new John C. Anderson apartments building ion Philadelphia, an affordable housing complex aimed at gay seniors.

Affordable housing for LGBT seniors opens in heart of downtown Philadelphia

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
PHILADELPHIA -- Jerry Zeft was so excited to move into his new apartment that he slept on an air mattress for nearly a week while he waited for his bed and other belongings to catch up with him. No matter that he's 70 years old. [ Read more → ]
custody

Birth mother jailed in Pa. same-sex custody dispute

Friday, January 10, 2014
MERCER, Pa. -- A woman has been jailed for contempt of court in western Pennsylvania for moving to Ohio with her 12-year-old birth daughter in violation of a judge's order in a bitter same-sex custody dispute. [ Read more → ]
philadelphia-police

Philadelphia police revamps policy on how to treat transgender people

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia police have issued new guidelines on how officers should treat transgender people, a policy that department officials say is to ensure everyone is treated with respect. [ Read more → ]
David Norse

Presbyterian church in Philadelphia to welcome openly gay pastor

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
PHILADELPHIA — A Presbyterian church in Philadelphia says it's welcoming an openly gay pastor. [ Read more → ]
Frank Schaefer

Calif. Methodist bishop offers job to Pa. pastor defrocked over gay son’s wedding

Sunday, December 22, 2013
PHILADELPHIA — A United Methodist pastor from central Pennsylvania who was defrocked after officiating his son's gay wedding was invited by a California Methodist bishop to serve in her region in yet another sign of a split in the nation's largest mainline Protestant denomination. [ Read more → ]
Matt Rourke, APFormer United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer at a a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia. United Methodist church officials have defrocked Schaefer, who officiated his gay son's wedding in Massachusetts.

Pa. pastor appeals defrocking over officiating gay son’s wedding

Friday, December 20, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- A United Methodist pastor defrocked for officiating at his son's same-sex wedding has appealed the decision, a move that offered the latest evidence of a split in the nation's largest mainline Protestant denomination and came as yet another state legalized gay marriage. [ Read more → ]
Rev. Frank Schaefer

Pa. pastor defrocked after performing gay son’s wedding

Thursday, December 19, 2013
NORRISTOWN, Pa. — United Methodist church officials defrocked a pastor from central Pennsylvania on Thursday who violated religious doctrine by officiating his gay son's wedding, and he later said he was shocked by their decision, calling his involvement in the wedding an "act of love." [ Read more → ]
Gov. Tom Corbett (R-Pa.)

Pa. governor Tom Corbett supports bill to outlaw anti-LGBT discrimination

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday that he would be willing to sign legislation to outlaw discrimination based on someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, but he was unprepared to say what he will do, if anything, to try to dislodge such bills that have thus far languished in the Republican-controlled Legislature. [ Read more → ]
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones

Judge in gay marriage suit rejects state argument that court lacks jurisdiction

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A federal judge hearing a challenge to Pennsylvania's law banning recognition of same-sex marriages is keeping the case on track for trial by preventing an appellate review at this stage. [ Read more → ]
Marc Levy, APACLU lawyer Witold J. Walczak speaks alongside many of the 23 men, women and children who are plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Pa. ban on same-sex marriage.

Pa. accused of stalling in federal challenge to same-sex marriage ban

Monday, December 16, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Lawyers in a federal court challenge to Pennsylvania's law that bans same-sex marriage on Monday accused the state's lawyers of using delay tactics and making unreasonable and intrusive requests for information from their clients, including whether they were ever in an opposite-sex relationship. [ Read more → ]
Rev. Frank Schaefer

Pa. pastor won’t quit voluntarily over officiating at gay son’s wedding

Monday, December 16, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- A United Methodist pastor vowed Monday to defy a religious order to surrender his credentials for performing a same-sex wedding, saying church officials will have to defrock him if they want him out of the ministry. [ Read more → ]
Michael Griffin (right) and Vincent Giannetto.

Catholic school suffers sharp backlash over firing of gay teacher

Friday, December 13, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Administrators at a Roman Catholic high school suffered a sharp and swift backlash this week after firing a well-liked teacher who sought to marry his same-sex partner. [ Read more → ]
love-philadelphia

Same-sex marriage proponents kick off Pennsylvania campaign

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Proponents of same-sex marriage launched a campaign Wednesday to build public support for legalizing gay marriage in Pennsylvania - the last holdout among the Northeast states. [ Read more → ]
Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane (left) and Gov. Tom Corbett

Pa. governor, AG seek to be dismissed from another same-sex marriage case

Monday, December 9, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Attorney General Kathleen Kane is seeking to be dismissed from a federal lawsuit pending in Philadelphia that challenges Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban. [ Read more → ]
holy-ghost-prep

Gay Catholic school teacher fired hours after applying for marriage license

Saturday, December 7, 2013
BENSALEM, Pa. -- A Catholic high school teacher in Pennsylvania said he was fired on Friday, just hours after applying for a marriage license to wed his same-sex partner. [ Read more → ]
Matt Rourke, APD. Bruce Hanes

Pa. court clerk defends issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Monday, December 2, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A suburban Philadelphia court clerk who defied Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage by signing licenses for scores of gay couples urged the state's highest court Monday to overturn an order that required him to stop. [ Read more → ]
Bishop Dorsey McConnell

Pittsburgh Episcopal bishop approves same-sex blessings

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh's Episcopal bishop has decided to let local priests decide whether they will conduct blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples. [ Read more → ]
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