Same-Sex Marriage en Allegheny County Domestic Partners Given More Time Before Losing Benefits <p>Last week, Allegheny County announced that all same-sex partners of county employees would have their domestic partner benefits cut off effective July 31.</p><p><a href="">Following an outcry </a>from advocates and some receiving benefits that 30 days was not enough time to arrange for new coverage and/or legally marry, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has now extended the cut-off date to June 30, 2015.</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:43:30 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31944 at Same-Sex Allegheny County Couples Want More Time Before Losing Domestic Partner Benefits <p></p><p>Allegheny County announced last week plans to cut off benefits to same-sex partners of its employees. The move was made because same-sex couples can now marry in Pennsylvania. Same-sex couples receiving benefits from Allegheny County must now show proof of marriage, or lose their domestic partner benefits.</p><p>It’s not so much the cutting off of benefits that has some worried, but the timeline. The benefits will be terminated August 1, giving employees and their partners little more than a month to arrange for new coverage, or get legally married.</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 01:09:28 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31839 at Same-Sex Allegheny County Couples Want More Time Before Losing Domestic Partner Benefits An Update on PA's Non-Discrimination Legislation <p>“Marriage equality is now a reality in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but at the end of the day you can still be fired for putting your wedding photo on your desk,” says State Representative Erin Molchany.</p><p>With a lack of legislative protections, same-sex couples in many parts of PA still face legal discrimination in the workplace, when it comes to housing, and in public accommodations.</p><p>“I would imagine that a state that does not have these kinds of protections would not be marketable to attracting talent, for businesses, employees,” Molchany said. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:58:39 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 31250 at An Update on PA's Non-Discrimination Legislation Judge Takes On Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage <p>The federal judge who struck down Pennsylvania's law banning recognition of same-sex marriage says he saw no proof that same-sex marriage destroys the strength of families.<br /><br />Judge John E. Jones III spoke Monday on WITF-FM's hour-long show "Smart Talk."<br /><br />He was responding to a statement by Bishop David Zubik of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh read to him by the show's host. But Jones says a link between family strength and same-sex marriage hasn't been proven.<br /> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:33:16 +0000 The Associated Press 30620 at Advocates Hope Gay Marriage Ruling Will Lend Momentum To Anti-Bias Legislation <p>Gay rights advocates are hoping the same-sex marriage ruling in Pennsylvania paves the way for laws to prohibit bias against residents based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. &nbsp;<br /><br />Identical bills in the state House and Senate would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pennsylvanians from being discriminated in housing, employment, and public accommodations.<br /><br />Equality PA director Ted Martin said about 30 percent of the state has such protections in place at the municipal level, but his group is seeking a state law.<br /> Fri, 23 May 2014 19:54:07 +0000 Mary Wilson 29761 at Overturning Pennsylvania's Same-Sex Marriage Ban <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history,” wrote Judge John E. Jones III in his Tuesday ruling, ending Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It was a sudden, entirely unexpected ruling from a judge appointed by President George W. Bush and endorsed by Rick </span>Santorum. T<span style="line-height: 1.5;">he public was further surprised when Republican Governor Tom Corbett decided not to appeal the decision. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The ruling was met with jubilation by same-sex couples across the state, who can now marry, and for those who married out-of-state and want their union recognized in PA. </span></p><p><strong><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Asserting human rights or disregarding democracy?&nbsp;</span></em></strong></p><p> Thu, 22 May 2014 21:03:23 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 29693 at Overturning Pennsylvania's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Pennsylvania Won't Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Case <p>Pennsylvania's governor says he won't appeal a court decision that struck down the state's gay marriage ban.<br /><br />Gov. Tom Corbett's decision Wednesday means that same-sex marriage will remain legal in Pennsylvania, without the threat that a higher court will reinstate the ban.<br /><br />On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III struck down Pennsylvania's 1996 law banning recognition of gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional.<br /> Wed, 21 May 2014 19:08:38 +0000 The Associated Press 29624 at After Ban Overturned, Same-Sex Couples Apply For Marriage Licenses In PA <p><strong>Update (3:09 p.m.): <a href="">Pennsylvania Won't Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Case</a></strong></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In overturning Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III concluded his nearly 40-page decision stating: “We are better people that what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”</span></p> Wed, 21 May 2014 17:51:58 +0000 Irina Zhorov 29613 at After Ban Overturned, Same-Sex Couples Apply For Marriage Licenses In PA Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Overturned By Judge <p>Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday.<br /><br />U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples' two teenage daughters — courageous.<br /><br />"We now join the 12 federal district courts across the country which, when confronted with these inequities in their own states, have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil," Jones wrote.<br /> Tue, 20 May 2014 18:46:28 +0000 The Associated Press & 90.5 WESA 29544 at An Update On The Fight For Marriage Equality In Pennsylvania <p>There may not be a trial to decide whether the state's same-sex marriage ban is constitutional. The plaintiffs argued the state isn't disputing their facts and hasn't identified an expert witness, so a judge can toss the ban out without a trial. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:02:21 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 28134 at An Update On The Fight For Marriage Equality In Pennsylvania Plaintiffs Want Judge To Strike Down PA Marriage Law Without A Trial <p>Plaintiffs challenging the Pennsylvania law that bans same-sex marriage say there’s no need for a June trial and want a federal court judge to issue an immediate decision.</p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 21:40:50 +0000 Kevin Gavin 27935 at 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