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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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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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‘Exciting discovery’ could potentially eradicate HIV from human cells

| Thursday, July 24, 2014
temple-univ-neuroscience
PHILADELPHIA -- Researchers at Temple University announced this week that they completely eliminated a dormant strain of HIV embedded in human cells, an advance that researchers on the project called a possible “game changer” by raising hopes that science is closer to not only suppressing but actually curing the virus that causes AIDS.

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Pa. clerk seeks ‘en banc’ hearing in bid to overturn same-sex marriage ruling

| Friday, July 18, 2014
Theresa Santai-Gaffney
POTTSVILLE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania county clerk seeking to overturn a federal judge’s ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state, is now asking that the entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit consider her bid to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Theresa Santai-Gaffney, the Register of Wills and Orphans’ Court Clerk for...

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ON THE BLOG

Marriage News Watch: Calif. anniversary, waiting on Va. ruling, Colo. ban falls

| Monday, July 14, 2014
Noah Berger, APRainbow flags fly in front of San Francisco City Hall, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court decision that cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California.
This week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) marks the one year anniversary of the return of marriage equality in California. It was in late June 2013 that the AFER’s case to overturn Proposition 8 finally concluded and equality was restored. Now, we’re awaiting a ruling in AFER’s Virginia case...

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Pa. county clerk not abandoning fight to appeal same-sex marriage ruling

| Saturday, July 12, 2014
Theresa Santai-Gaffney
POTTSVILLE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania county official seeking to overturn a federal judge's ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state, says she's not abandoning her fight, even after a U.S. Supreme Court justice rejected her bid to put the ruling on hold while she tries to get standing in a legal case to stop them permanently.

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