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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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Justice Alito denies clerk’s bid to halt same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Supreme Court justice has rejected a Pennsylvania county clerk's bid to stop gay marriages in the state while she tries to get standing in a legal case to stop them permanently. Without comment, Justice Samuel Alito on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Schuylkill County Orphans' Court Clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney. The clerk can appeal ...

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County clerk asks Supreme Court to halt same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania

| Monday, July 7, 2014
Theresa Santai-Gaffney
POTTSVILLE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania county official has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to suspend a federal ruling that allows gay couples to marry in the state. Theresa Santai-Gaffney, Schuylkill County’s register of wills and Orphans’ Court clerk, asked the high court on Thursday afternoon to stay the ruling while she pursues an appeal. Her request was...

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Marriage News Watch: Victory in Ky., more hearings from coast-to-coast

| Monday, July 7, 2014
Marriage-license
This week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), recaps a big victory in Kentucky, and numerous hearings coming up from one side of the country to the other. Plus, a battle of wills and a surprise move in Colorado. And one of the Prop 8 lawyers is headed back to court — this time, as a judge...

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Federal appeals court rejects Pa. clerk’s bid to appeal same-sex marriage ruling

| Thursday, July 3, 2014
Theresa Santai-Gaffney
PHILADELPHIA -- A federal appeals court has rejected a county official's bid to appeal a ruling that overturned Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban. The Philadelphia-based U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Thursday denied Schuylkill County Orphans Court Clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney's request to intervene in the case.

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Pa. county extends same-sex marriage benefits deadline

| Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Allegheny-County
PITTSBURGH -- One western Pennsylvania county is pushing back a deadline for its employees to marry their same-sex partners in order for those partners to keep health care and other benefits.

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Pa. county to require same-sex couples to marry to retain benefits

| Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Allegheny-County
PITTSBURGH -- One western Pennsylvania county is cutting off benefits to same-sex partners of its employees unless they're married. Allegheny County officials say they're changing the policy now that a federal judge has allowed same-sex couples to marry in Pennsylvania. The county once limited benefits to those married to county employees...

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Judge rejects county clerk’s bid to appeal Pa. same-sex marriage ruling

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Theresa Santai-Gaffney
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A federal judge who overturned Pennsylvania's law banning same-sex marriage is rejecting a bid by a county official from eastern Pennsylvania to appeal it. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III issued his decision Wednesday on the request by Schuylkill County Orphans Court Clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney.

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Police officer investigated for forceful arrest at Pittsburgh pride event

| Monday, June 16, 2014
PrideFest-arrest
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A Pittsburgh police officer has been put on desk duty after video surfaced showing him punching a woman at the city's LGBT pride parade and festival. Mayor Bill Peduto said Monday the officer will remain on restricted duty for a month during an internal investigation.

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Pittsburgh mayor officiates weddings for 19 same-sex couples

| Monday, June 16, 2014
Pittsburgh-weddings
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has officiated his first weddings since taking office in January, presiding over a group ceremony for 19 same-sex couples in City Council chambers. The weddings coincided with the Pittsburgh Pridefest, and some of the couples had marched in the Pride Parade before they were married on Sunday.

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County official asks judge to allow her to appeal Pa. gay marriage ruling

| Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Theresa Santai-Gaffney
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A county official from eastern Pennsylvania is asking a federal judge to allow her to appeal his decision to overturn Pennsylvania's law barring the recognition of same-sex marriage. Gov. Tom Corbett's administration was defending the law, but declined to appeal Jones' May 20 decision to strike it down.

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