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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Three being charged in Philadelphia attack, beating of gay couple

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
A group of about a dozen young adults are alleged to have attacked a gay couple in Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 2014.
PHILADELPHIA -- Two men and a woman are being charged in the beating of a gay couple during a late-night encounter on a Philadelphia street. Prosecutors identified the suspects Tuesday as 24-year-old Philip Williams, 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan and 24-year-old Katherine Knott.

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Pa. lawmaker comes out as gay amid push for LGBT hate crimes law

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Jim Ferlo
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania state lawmaker announced Tuesday that he is gay amid a push by legislators to advance a hate crime bill that includes protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. At a news conference to promote the legislation, State Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Pittsburgh), who drafted the Senate version of the bill...

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Philadelphia police chief recommends charges in attack on same-sex couple

Monday, September 22, 2014
A group of about a dozen young adults are alleged to have attacked a gay couple in Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 2014.
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey believes that at least some people should be charged in a high-profile altercation that left two gay men injured. Detectives were presenting their findings Monday to prosecutors, Ramsey told The Philadelphia Inquirer. District Attorney Seth Williams is expected to make the final ...

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Pa. lawmaker renews push for LGBT hate crime law in wake of Philly attack

Monday, September 22, 2014
Brendan Boyle
PHILADELPHIA -- A Pennsylvania lawmaker is renewing his efforts to pass an LGBT-inclusive hate crime law in the wake of a brutal attack on a same-sex couple earlier this month. State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) tells Philly.com he plans to push to get his bill passed as early as Tuesday...

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Catholic school says coach tied to Philly beating of gay couple has ‘resigned’

Thursday, September 18, 2014
A group of about a dozen young adults are alleged to have attacked a gay couple in Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 2014.
PHILADELPHIA -- An assistant coach at a Roman Catholic high school has resigned over his role in a beating that left two gay men injured, church officials in Philadelphia said Thursday. About a dozen young adults were linked to the Sept. 11 encounter after police released surveillance video Tuesday and social media users mined online posts, including a group ...

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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

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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