Same-Sex Marriage en Key Cases Loom in Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Fight <p>Pennsylvania remains the only mid-Atlantic state that bans gay marriage, but several court fights this year could change that.<br /><br />In Philadelphia, a federal judge has been asked to order Pennsylvania to recognize same-sex marriages from elsewhere.<br /><br />Lead plaintiffs Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker have been married nine years. They believe most people don't see same-sex marriage as an issue anymore.<br /><br />A February poll by Quinnipiac University shows that 57 percent of state voters support same-sex marriage, while 37 percent are opposed.<br /> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 01:37:28 +0000 The Associated Press 26154 at Same Sex Couples Apply for, are Denied Marriage Licenses on Valentine’s Day <p></p><p></p><p>As delivery men carried large bouquets of roses to various offices at the City County Building &nbsp;in downtown Pittsburgh on Valentine’s Day, supporters of same-sex marriage and several couples gathered to apply for marriage licenses.</p><p>“We know that they will be denied,” said Melissa Watson with the Allegheny County chapter of Marriage Equality for PA, “They will not be allowed to get them, but we hope to show Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh and Allegheny County that we’re ready.”</p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 18:25:54 +0000 Deanna Garcia 24440 at Same Sex Couples Apply for, are Denied Marriage Licenses on Valentine’s Day Same-Sex Married Couples Can Reap More Benefits This Tax Season <p>The U.S. Supreme Court’s striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) might have same-sex married couples worried about what changes are in store for them this tax season. But Joseph Nicola of Sisterson &amp; Co., a Pittsburgh accounting firm, says filing shouldn’t be any more difficult than last year.</p><p>Nicola said the Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor means that married same-sex couples can take advantage of more benefits.</p> Wed, 01 Jan 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Tim Camerato 21128 at Same-Sex Marriage Advocacy Campaign Kicks Off In PA <p>Marriage matters to Diane Polson and Dawn Plummer.</p><p>They have been together for 13 years, but the state will not allow them to marry. Same-sex marriage is legal in 16 states and Washington, D.C., but Pennsylvania is not one of them.</p><p>While a challenge to Pennsylvania’s marriage law makes its way through the courts, the ACLU launched its Why Marriage Matters campaign Wednesday.</p><p>Polson and Plummer are now plaintiffs in the ACLU’s lawsuit, a decision sparked by their 5-year-old son Elijah.</p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 21:38:36 +0000 Jessica Nath 21217 at Same-Sex Marriage Advocacy Campaign Kicks Off In PA A Virtual Time Capsule of Pittsburgh's LGBT Nightlife <p>Harrison Apple has been exploring the underground. In speakeasies, bathhouses and after hours clubs, he&rsquo;s found a hypothetical time capsule of a rich gay nightlife in Pittsburgh between 1960 and 1990.</p><p>Now as Artist in Residence at Carnegie Mellon University&rsquo;s Center for the Arts, Harrison not only exhibits <a href="">his own work</a>, but has been successful in bringing award-winning author and gay rights historian <a href="">George Chauncey</a> to CMU&rsquo;s 2013 Kim and Eric Giler lecture in the humanities Thursday afternoon. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 18:31:44 +0000 Katie Blackley 17957 at A Virtual Time Capsule of Pittsburgh's LGBT Nightlife The Future of Anti-Discrimination Laws in Pennsylvania <p>When the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June, a number of Pennsylvania couples began challenging the state&rsquo;s defense of marriage law in the courts.</p><p>If the law is struck down without legislation, according to two state legislators, certain protections will need to be in place.</p><p>In many Pennsylvania towns, the LGBT community is faced with a catch-22: although there are anti-discrimination laws for race, religion, sex, ethnicity etc., sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected. Cities such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have their own specific laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, but a large portion of the state does not. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 19:13:23 +0000 Katie Martin and Heather McClain 17883 at The Future of Anti-Discrimination Laws in Pennsylvania Rep. Sims: Same-Sex Marriage 'Inevitable' in PA <p>State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia), the first openly gay member of the General Assembly, said same-sex marriage &ldquo;will become law&rdquo; in Pennsylvania, either through legislation or judicial action.</p><p>Sims spoke Wednesday with <a href="">Essential Pittsburgh </a>about his LGBT anti-discrimination legislation and marriage equality bill.</p><p>He said most believe gay marriage will someday become legal in Pennsylvania, which is the only state in the Northeast without laws providing for civil unions or same-sex marriage.</p> Wed, 09 Oct 2013 19:06:21 +0000 Tim Camerato 17880 at Top Openly Gay State Official Denounces Corbett's Same-Sex Marriage Remarks <p>Pennsylvania state government&#39;s top-ranking openly gay official says she&#39;s saddened by Gov. Tom Corbett&#39;s comments about gay marriage.<br /><br />&quot;I work for a governor that, I believe, has done a great disservice to the commonwealth,&quot; said Terry Mutchler, head of the Office of Open Records, veering from her typical talking points about government transparency in a speech she gave to archivists and historians Monday.<br /> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 11:49:58 +0000 Mary Wilson 17802 at Corbett: Gay Marriage Remarks Not Meant to Offend <p>Pennsylvania&#39;s governor says he&#39;s sorry if anyone was offended when he compared gay marriage to the marriage of a brother and sister during a TV interview.<br /><br />Republican Gov. Tom Corbett issued a statement Friday saying his &quot;words were not intended to offend anyone&quot; and apologizing if they did.<br /><br />Corbett says his comment during the WHP-TV morning news interview was meant to provide an example of the categories of people who aren&#39;t legally entitled to obtain marriage licenses in Pennsylvania.<br /> Fri, 04 Oct 2013 17:12:42 +0000 The Associated Press 17642 at Montgomery County to Appeal Judge's Marriage License Halt <p>The Pennsylvania Supreme Court could be the next stop for a suburban Philadelphia county's battle to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.<br><br>Montgomery County said Tuesday that its solicitor, Ray McGarry, will appeal a state judge's order stopping a court clerk from issuing the licenses.<br><br>McGarry says he'll file the appeal in the next several days on behalf of Bruce Hanes, the register of wills.<br> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 18:34:17 +0000 The Associated Press 16690 at PA Judge Orders End to Same-Sex Marriage Licenses <p>A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday ordered a suburban Philadelphia clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.<br><br>Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini said Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes did not have the power to decide on his own whether Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban violates the state constitution.<br> Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:50:55 +0000 The Associated Press 16420 at Among the Many Q's in PA Same-Sex Marriage Case, Who Has Legal Standing? <p>One of the many issues a state judge must wrestle with in a case of Montgomery County-issued same-sex marriage licenses is: who has legal standing?<br><br>Thirty-two same-sex couples say they do, and should therefore be able to join a lawsuit launched by the Corbett administration aiming to enforce Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban.<br><br>Bolton Winpenny, a computer programmer, says he and his partner married in Harrisburg shortly after receiving their marriage license in Montgomery County in July.<br> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 14:00:51 +0000 Mary Wilson 16024 at Among the Many Q's in PA Same-Sex Marriage Case, Who Has Legal Standing? Montgomery County Marriage Licenses Challenged in Court <p>Officials in Montgomery County have issued more than 100 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and currently Pennsylvania has a law that deems same-sex marriage illegal.</p><p>The question many are asking is what will happen to these marriage licenses? Jules Lobel, a constitutional law Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, attempts to give some insight on the marriage licenses. Wed, 04 Sep 2013 20:44:26 +0000 Nick Frost 15981 at Montgomery County Marriage Licenses Challenged in Court Judge Hears Arguments in PA Same-Sex Marriage Case <p>A state judge has heard arguments over jurisdiction and other matters in the case of a county court official’s decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.<br><br>Commonwealth lawyers are trying to stop the practice, arguing they were distributed in violation of Pennsylvania’s law defining marriage as between one man and one woman.<br><br>Lawyers for Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes said his actions are defensible on the basis they uphold the U.S. and state constitutions.<br> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 19:14:16 +0000 Mary Wilson 15974 at Judge Vows Quick PA Same-Sex Marriage Case Ruling <p>A Pennsylvania judge is promising to rule quickly on whether a county clerk should be ordered to stop handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples.<br><br>Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini did not signal what direction he might rule as lawyers debated the actions of Bruce Hanes, who issues licenses in suburban Philadelphia.<br><br>Arguments lasted over an hour, with lawyers for Gov. Tom Corbett's administration saying Hanes' decision is not allowed under state law.<br> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 16:14:49 +0000 The Associated Press 15950 at PA Attorneys: Gay Couples Like Kids, Can't Marry <p>Attorneys for Pennsylvania's Republican governor say marriage licenses given to same-sex couples in the state are invalid because the couples were barred from marrying — just like "12-year-olds."</p><p>Gov. Tom Corbett's administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to block same-sex marriage licenses in Montgomery County.</p><p>State attorneys say in a Wednesday court filing the licenses have no "legitimacy." They compare gay and lesbian couples to children, who can't marry because a 1996 law says marriage is between a man and a woman.</p> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:57:40 +0000 The Associated Press 15662 at Braddock Mayor Performs First Same-Sex Wedding in Allegheny County <p>John Kandray and Bill Gray of Pittsburgh have been together for 11 years and were one of several same-sex couples to obtain a marriage license from Montgomery County.</p><p>On Monday night the two were wed in a ceremony officiated by Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. But a state law is in place that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.</p><p>“I’m urging Gov. Tom Corbett to tear down this law and replace it with marriage equality for all Pennsylvanians,” Fetterman said. “The law just has no place in 2013.”</p> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 18:40:13 +0000 Deanna Garcia 14391 at ACLU of Pennsylvania Sues Commonwealth on Behalf of Same-Sex Couples & Families <p>Two weeks after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned key <a href="">provisions in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act</a>, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has <a href="">filed a federal lawsuit</a> to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.</p><p>The 23 plaintiffs, including 10 same-sex couples, one widow, and two teenage children of one of the couples, say they've seen firsthand the <a href="">inequality of PA law in its discrimination</a> against same-sex couples.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="">ACLU Staff Attorney</a> <strong>Molly Tack-Hooper</strong> and <a href="">Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh</a>, <strong>Anthony Infanti</strong>, weigh in on the legality of the lawsuit and the path for equality in Pennsylvania paved by the repeal of DOMA.</p><p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 20:31:24 +0000 Katherine Blackley 12888 at ACLU of Pennsylvania Sues Commonwealth on Behalf of Same-Sex Couples & Families Micek On ACLU Lawsuit, "Payday Loans" & PennDOT's Lost Construction Season <p></p><p>In the wake of <a href="">Governor Corbett’s budget signing</a> and the Supreme Court’s overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act, <strong>John Micek </strong><a href="">Opinions Editor of the Harrisburg Patriot-News </a>explains the many pressing issues at the state level.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 20:00:24 +0000 Katherine Blackley 12884 at Micek On ACLU Lawsuit, "Payday Loans" & PennDOT's Lost Construction Season Federal Suit Filed in PA to Force State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage <p>The American Civil Liberties Union is filing a federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania to make the state recognize gay couples.<br><br>The suit comes two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on gay marriage but left state prohibitions intact. Lawyers say this is the first federal case since to be filed challenging a state's gay marriage law.<br> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 14:00:27 +0000 Mary Wilson & Mark Nootbaar 12778 at Federal Suit Filed in PA to Force State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage Pennsylvanians React to the Supreme Court Decision on the Defense of Marriage Act <p>Yesterday, Pittsburghers were ready to<a href=""> rally and/or riot</a> Downtown in reaction the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark&nbsp;<a href="">decision</a> on the Defense of Marriage Act.&nbsp; The gathering turned to celebration with the announcement that DOMA had been struck down. But it may be a while before we see what the decision will mean for the future of gay marriage in Pennsylvania.</p><p>Matt Bartko of Wilkinsburg recently had audiences cheering at Pridefest when he&nbsp;received a surprise marriage&nbsp;proposal from his long time partner, Maddy Landi. Bartko credited the national discussion on gay marriage for pushing his new fiance to finally pop the question.</p><p>"It got him thinking about whether or not he wanted to spend his life with me" Bartko said. Thu, 27 Jun 2013 20:01:22 +0000 John Lavanga 12199 at Pennsylvanians React to the Supreme Court Decision on the Defense of Marriage Act Same-Sex Marriage Argued Before Supreme Court <p></p><p>Two cases regarding same-sex marriage are being argued before the US Supreme Court this week. The futures of the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8 will be decided in June. University of Pittsburgh Law School Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs <strong>Anthony C. Infanti</strong> weighs in on the arguments.<font face="Times New Roman"> </font>And we'll talk about the potential impact on same sex partnerships in PA with <span lang="EN"><strong>Gary Van Horn</strong>, </span><span lang="EN">Board </span><span lang="EN">President of the <a href="">Delta Foundation</a>, sponsors of Pittsburgh Pride.</span> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 01:00:00 +0000 Heather McClain 6745 at Same-Sex Marriage Argued Before Supreme Court