New & Noteworthy:

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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Philadelphia approves LGBT hate crime law following attack on same-sex couple

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Philadelphia City Hall
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia's city council has passed a bill authorizing added penalties for gender identity and sexual orientation hate crimes that aren't covered under state law. The administration-backed bill won unanimous approval Thursday. Mayor Michael Nutter has two weeks to sign it into law.

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Pennsylvania state legislature advances LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill

Monday, October 6, 2014
Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg.
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Legislation to expand Pennsylvania's hate crimes law to include sexual orientation and gender identity advanced in the state legislature on Monday. In a bipartisan vote, the House Judiciary Committee approved the measure 19-4 following a renewed push Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia), the bill's sponsor, in the wake of a brutal attack ...

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Court hearing scheduled for three charged in Philadelphia gay bashing

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Phlli-suspects-Williams-Knott-Harrigan-665
PHILADELPHIA -- Three young adults charged with beating a gay couple in Philadelphia are due in court Dec. 16 for a preliminary hearing. Police accuse the two men and a suburban police chief's daughter with taking part in an assault that left one man with a wired jaw.

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Deal proposed to recognize gay marriages performed before Pa. ban was struck down

Monday, September 29, 2014
Matt Rourke, APEllen Toplin, right, and Charlene Kurland pose for photographs with their marriage license at a Montgomery County office on Wednesday, despite a state law banning such unions.
PHILADELPHIA -- The fate of 27 same-sex couples who married in Pennsylvania before a federal judge struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban could be resolved through a legal settlement. Their marriages would be recognized under the proposed deal, but their legal anniversary would move to May 20, 2014, the day Pennsylvania's ...

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Hundreds rally in Philadelphia to call for LGBT hate crimes protections

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Protestors demonstrate calling on Pennsylvania to add sexual orientation to its hate crime law at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Philadelphia. The renewed call for the legislation comes in response to the Sept. 11 beating of a gay couple.
PHILADELPHIA — More than 200 people advocated for changes to the state’s hate-crimes law in the wake of the beating of a gay couple in downtown Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that the crowd pushed for Pennsylvania’s anti-hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation. The rally was held in Philadelphia’s...

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Philly city council to introduce hate crime ordinance as state protections lag

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Philadelphia City Hall
PHILADELPHIA -- While Pennsylvania lawmakers push to advance statewide hate crimes protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity, members of the Philadelphia city council on Thursday will introduce their own measure that would add a hate crime chapter to the city code.

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Suspects in Philadelphia couple’s gay bashing released on bail

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Philadelphia-suspects
PHILADELPHIA — The three young adults charged with beating a gay couple during a night out on the town in Philadelphia have been released on bail. KYW-TV reports that 24-year-old Philip Williams of Warminster, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott of Southampton and 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan of Warrington left the police department’s Central Detectives ...

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Hospital suspends suspect in Philly gay bashing as new allegations surface

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Kathryn-Knott
Kathryn Knott, one of three individuals charged in the beating of a Philadelphia gay couple, has been suspended from her job at a local hospital, and new information indicates she is also being investigated for alleged privacy violations and a series of tweets dating to 2012 that call into question her father's professional ethics.

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Three surrender, face charges in Philadelphia beating of gay couple

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Phlli-suspects-Williams-Knott-Harrigan-665
PHILADELPHIA -- A week after online sleuths used social media to identify suspects in the beating of a gay couple, three suburban Philadelphia defendants surrendered to police Wednesday and were charged in what one defense lawyer called merely a "fist fight that got out of hand."

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Local police chief’s daughter among those charged in gay couple’s beating

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Katherine Knott
PHILADELPHIA -- The daughter of a suburban Philadelphia police chief is among the three individuals who have turned themselves in to police to face charges in the beating of a gay couple during a late-night encounter on a city street earlier this month. Police say Philip Williams, 24, Katherine Knott, 24, and Kevin Harrigan, 26, surrendered Wednesday morning....

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