Western Pennsylvania Freedom to Marry Coalition
Because marriage is a basic human right and individual personal
RESOLVED: the state should not interfere with same-gender couples who
choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights,
responsibilities, and committment of civil marriage.
The marriage resolution
When the Federal Government enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, Rep.
Henry Hyde asked the Government Accounting Office to create a report
on the federal laws that would be effected. On January 31, the GAO
issued this report detailing 1049 new ways
that the federal government would now discriminate against its gay and
lesbian citizens. (in Adobe Acrobat format)
Western Pennsylvania Endorsees of the Marriage Resolution
- Aaero Appliance
- Alliance for Progressive Action
- American Civil Liberties Union, Pittsburgh Chapter
- A Pleasant Present
- Asians and Friends, Pittsburgh
- Black and White Men Together/Pittsburgh, Inc
- Couples of the Pittsburgh Area (COPA)
- Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh
- Cry Out!/ACT UP Pittsburgh
- Democratic Socialists of America, Pittsburgh Local
- First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
- 14th Ward (City of Pittsburgh) Democratic Committee, Eric Marchbein
- Gertrude Stein Memorial Bookshop
- Gertrude Stein Political Club of Greater Pittsburgh
- Greater Pittsburgh Men's Society
- Lambda Foundation
- League of Gay
and Lesbian Voters of Pennsylvania
- Libertarian Party of
Pennsylvania, Allegheny County Chapter
- Lutherans Concerned/Pittsburgh
- James R. McGill, member of Wilkinsburg Borough Council
- Metropolitan Community
Church of Pittsburgh
- National Organization for Women, Squirrel Hill Chapter
- Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG),
- Persad Center, Inc
- Reverend Walter Pietschmann III
- Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force
- Pittsburghers in Gear Motorcycle Club
- Planet Q, a monthly newspaper serving the Greater Pittsburgh community
- The Honorable Joseph Preston Jr, member, Pennsylvania House of
- Religious Society of Friends
(Quakers), Pittsburgh's community
- Renaissance City Choir
- Rusty Rail Saloon
- Shannon's Gay Gifts
- Reverend Connie Shaw
- Subway Bar, Beaver Falls PA
- Reverend Walter Szymanski
- Tavern Guilde
- Reverend Maurine Waun
- University Psychologists
Pennsylvania's anti-marriage law history
May 8, 1996, Allan Egolf introduces anti-marriage legislation in the
Pennsylvania state house that would ban same-sex marriages and refuse to
recognizes marriages performed in other states. Proper legislative
procedures refers the bill to the House Judiciary Committee where it never
receives a hearing.
On June 28, 1996 the House considers a bill that would amend
Pennsylvania's Domestic Relations Act to allow for grandparents to adopt
grandchildren over the objections of their parents. Representative Egolf
introduces an amendment to this bill that parallels his pending
anti-marriage bill. The Republican controlled state House debated and votedd
to add this anti-marriage amendment to the adoption bill. The vote on the
amendment was 177-16. The bill, which already passed the State Senate,
was sent back for a concurrence vote. After this vote, the House recessed
for the summer.
On October 1, 1996, the Republican controlled state Senate voted 43-5 to
concur with the anti-marriage language added by the House. Governor Ridge
(R) signed the act into law on October 8.
The Western Pennsylvania Freedom to Marry Coalition prepared several fact
sheets pointing out the many problems this
legislation would create. For example
- Is the United States
the type of country where people are married or not depending where they
- Should states like Pennsylvania issue marriage visas to visitors so
their legal marriages will be valid in our state?
Here is our press release about the House vote on
In 1974, the PA Supreme Court decided the case of Estate of Lehnerr v
Commonwealth. It is cases like Lehnerr that will be the precedent for
deciding whether to recognized Hawaiian same-sex marriages in PA.
The Federal Defense of Marriage Act
On July 12, 1996, the House of Representatives passed the Defense of
The Congressional Record
can be searched to find
representatives speeches and voting records. To use this search facility,
set the keyword to marriage, restrict the
search to the House Section and limit the search to the dates
7/11/96 to 7/12/96. Alternatively, here is the Thomas
On September 10, the Senate passed DoMA by a vote of 85-14. On September
21, President Clinton signed the act into law. Here is the Senate debate (in Adobe Acrobat
format) and from Government
Printing Office server (including the vote)
President Clinton issued this statement prior to
Here is the
status of the anti-marriage bill. Lawrence
Tribe discusses in the New York Times editorial why this bill is
Answers to some common
questions about marriage for same-sex couples and marriage license
requirements for Hawaii.
Our brochure as an Adobe Acrobat file.
Bay Windows article of March 9, 1995.
Francisco Examiner April 27, 1995
- Detroit News
story of August 5, 1995
- Seattle Gay
News of September 8, 1995.
News, September 9 story on impact on tourist industry for Hawaii
- Press release from Freedom to Marry
Coalition on the Official Report of the Hawaiian Commission on Sexual
Orientation and that Law.
story of December 8, 1995.
December 11, 1995
Tribune editorial of January 25, 1996
- New York Times editorial from April
1996 (371K jpeg)
- Pittsburgh's Tribune Review article from
April 12, 1996 (492K -- in 4 columns)
- Texas Human
Rights Foundation article
- OutNow article
on economic impact for Hawaii
Republicans President on marriage
releases related to the
Hawaii case, including profiles of the plaintiffs.
- Baehr v.
Lewin: Will Equal Protection Lead to the End of Prohibitions on Same-Sex
(Personal) Essay on Same-Sex Marriage by Barbara J. Cox
- A New York Times article that discusses the effort of some states to
marriages even before Hawaii legalizes them.
- Lawrence Tribe discussed why the Defense
Marriage Act is unconstitutional in this New York Times editorial from May
Our monthly newsletter is availble on-line and can be read with Adobe Acrobat.
Religious marriage and civil marriage are two different institutions,
although they are often confused with each other. Civil marriage is how
the state treats a couple; religious marriage is how particular
denominations treat a couple. Just as there are those religions that do
not recognize civil divorces, there are also marriages performed by the
state that are not sanctified by any religion. Some religions today
perform committment ceremonies for same-sex couples, even though these
ceremonies have no legal recognition.
John Boswell's final work Same-sex
Unions in Premodern Europe
documents Christian liturgies and celebrations that honored the unions of
same-sex couples. Many of these liturgies make reference to Saints Serge
and Bacchus. Boswell translated the original tale, The
Passion of Ss. Serge and Bacchus, reproduced here.
Show your support
Pennsylvania Freedom to Marry Coalition t-shirts are now
shirt is 100% cotton. The front is our logo , and the back is
the marriage resolution. To order, send $12 ($10 + $2 for postage) to
WPaFtMC, PO Box 81253, Pittsburgh PA 15217-4257. Please allow several
weeks for processing.
Places of interest on the web
Domestic Partners page
Western Pa Freedom to Marry Coalition
PO Box 81253
Pittsburgh, PA 15217-4253
mail to Western PA Freedom to Marry Coalition
Last updated 7/27/97 by email@example.com
Copyright © 1996,1997 Scott A. Safier