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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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.

Federal judge sets June trial for Pa. same-sex marriage lawsuit

Friday, November 22, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The trial of a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's gay-marriage ban will be held in June, a federal judge said Friday. [ Read more → ]
Chris Knight, APThe Rev. Frank Schaefer before facing his sentencing hearing at Camp Innabah, a United Methodist retreat, in Spring City Pa. Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013.

Pa. pastor unrepentant for officiating gay wedding, suspended for 30 days

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
SPRING CITY, Pa. -- A United Methodist minister convicted under church law of officiating at his son's same-sex wedding was suspended for 30 days on Tuesday but remained defiant, saying he refuses to change his views, even if it means permanently losing his credentials. [ Read more → ]
APRev. Frank Schaefer

Church jury convicts Pa. Methodist pastor for officiating gay son’s wedding

Monday, November 18, 2013
SPRING CITY, Pa. -- A United Methodist minister was convicted Monday in a Pennsylvania church trial of breaking church law by officiating at his son's same-sex marriage, a case that rekindled debate over the policy of the nation's largest mainline Protestant denomination. [ Read more → ]
Courtesy photo (AP)Rev. Frank Schaefer (right) and his son Tim.

Pa. pastor faces church trial Monday for officiating at gay son’s wedding

Sunday, November 17, 2013
A Pennsylvania pastor charged under United Methodist law with officiating his son's same-sex marriage is scheduled to go on trial Monday. [ Read more → ]
Pennsylvania

Federal judge rules lawsuit challenging Pa. gay marriage ban can proceed

Friday, November 15, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A federal court challenge to Pennsylvania's 17-year-old law banning the recognition of same-sex marriages took an important step toward a trial Friday when a judge rejected two different attempts to block the lawsuit. [ Read more → ]
Courtesy photo (AP)Rev. Frank Schaefer (right) and his son Tim.

Ministers back colleague by participating in same-sex wedding ceremony

Sunday, November 10, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- About 50 ministers gave their symbolic support to a colleague facing sanctions from the United Methodist Church by participating in a same-sex wedding. [ Read more → ]
Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane (left) and Gov. Tom Corbett

Defendants reshuffled in lawsuit challenging Pa. same-sex marriage ban

Sunday, November 3, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Lawyers on both sides of a court challenge to the state's gay marriage ban have agreed to dismiss Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane as defendants. [ Read more → ]
Sims Toomey

Pa. lawmaker, gay rights groups pressure Sen. Pat Toomey on ENDA vote

Sunday, November 3, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Gay rights groups and a state lawmaker in Pennsylvania are asking U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey to support a bill that aims to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. [ Read more → ]
will

Inheritance tax at center of new challenges to Pa. same-sex marriage ban

Monday, October 28, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Two women in separate cases have challenged Pennsylvania's policy that same-sex couples are not covered under the inheritance tax waiver that applies to heterosexual couples. [ Read more → ]
Kathleen Kane

Pa. attorney general Kathleen Kane scolds lawmaker seeking impeachment

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A plan by a conservative western Pennsylvania state lawmaker to seek impeachment of the state attorney general over her handling of a gay marriage lawsuit drew a stern reply Tuesday from the top prosecutor, who called his claims "loud, arrogant and misguided." [ Read more → ]
NJ-PA-marriage-4

New Jersey, neighboring Pennsylvania spotlight same-sex marriage efforts

Saturday, October 19, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania and New Jersey are on tracks that could lead to the Northeast being the first full region in the country to legalize same-sex marriage -- but the routes are hardly parallel and the horsepower anything but equal. [ Read more → ]
Benjamin Stoviak

Pittsburgh police charge man in alleged bias motivated attack on gay man

Friday, October 11, 2013
Pittsburgh police have charged one man for allegedly attacking a gay man, but a defense attorney says the victim wasn't targeted because of his sexuality. [ Read more → ]
Court-ruling

No trial date set yet in Pa. same-sex marriage case

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A federal judge said Wednesday he would not set a trial date just yet for a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane (left) and Gov. Tom Corbett

Pa. officials ask to be released as defendants in same-sex marriage lawsuit

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania's governor, its chief legal officer and its health secretary are asking to be released as defendants in a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's gay-marriage ban. [ Read more → ]
Tom Corbett

Pa. governor: Same-sex marriage is like marriage between siblings

Friday, October 4, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Republican Gov. Tom Corbett compared the marriage of same-sex couples to the marriage of a brother and sister during an appearance on a Friday morning TV news show. [ 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. lawmakers introduce bill to legalize same-sex marriage

Thursday, October 3, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Two state lawmakers say they are introducing a bill that would allow same-sex couples to get married legally in Pennsylvania. [ Read more → ]
marriage-license

Pa. county appeals ruling banning marriage licenses for same-sex couples

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Montgomery County on Tuesday appealed a state court order to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses, the latest volley in Pennsylvania's fast-paced battle over gay marriage. [ Read more → ]
John Galloway

Pa. lawmaker yanks support for LGBT protections over ‘bathroom issue’

Monday, September 30, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania state lawmaker has withdrawn his support for a proposed amendment to the state's Human Relations Act, citing "concerns" regarding use of public facilities for transgender people. [ Read more → ]
PA marriage

Fourth lawsuit filed challenging Pa. ban on same-sex marriage

Thursday, September 26, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Two women who moved to Pennsylvania after being wed in Massachusetts asked a court on Thursday to force their new home state to recognize the marriage. [ Read more → ]
Pennsylvania

Twenty-one same-sex couples file suit to overturn Pa. ban on gay marriage

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Twenty-one same-sex couples filed suit Wednesday seeking to overturn the state's gay-marriage ban on the grounds that it's unconstitutional. [ Read more → ]
Ken Kline Smeltzer

Pa. pastor says he was fired for presiding over same-sex couple’s wedding

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A congregation has fired its pastor for conducting the wedding of two men at a central Pennsylvania mayor's home, the pastor said. [ Read more → ]
Kasey Caron

Pa. school board nixes transgender homecoming king entry

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- A western Pennsylvania school board won't let a student who was born female but identifies as male run for homecoming king. [ Read more → ]
State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia)

Pa. lawmakers to introduce bipartisan bill to ban coversion therapy on minors

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers announced Tuesday they will introduce a bipartisan bill in the state House of Representatives that would ban mental health providers from engaging in controversial gay-to-straight "conversion therapy" on minors. [ Read more → ]
Matt Rourke, APD. Bruce Hanes

Pa. county to appeal ruling that it stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court appears to be the next stop for a suburban Philadelphia county's battle to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [ Read more → ]
Montgomery-County-PA

Status of Pa. same-sex marriage licenses murky after judge’s ruling

Friday, September 13, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania judge's order stopping a suburban Philadelphia court clerk from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples leaves their legal status unclear, with an appeal possible and other legal actions pending or in the works. [ Read more → ]
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