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When Clerks Intervene

Friday, June 6th, 2014

According to a press release from the Smith Law Group of Berks County, Pennsylvania,

“Theresa Santai Gaffney, Clerk of the Orphan’s Court, is seeking intervention in the case so thaPennsylvania mapt the ruling can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Governor Corbett, who had been defending the law, declined to appeal the ruling. “An appeal is necessary so that the judicial process is not abandoned,” stated Ms. Gaffney. “The people of Pennsylvania deserve to hear from the Court of Appeals on this important issue because a single judge should not be able to nullify the will of the majority without an appeal.”

As President of ME4PA, I completely disagree with her decision to appeal. She is right to say that Governor Corbett is no longer defending the law, but for reasons similar to the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, also known as California’s Proposition 8 case, the parties that appealed that case lacked standing to present the case before the court. While Ms. Gaffney is welcome to attempt an appeal, we at ME4PA agree wholeheartedly with the conclusions of law reached by Judge John Jones III. As long as Governor Corbett’s legal team realized that an appeal of the case would be a fruitless expense, then further discussion from the Schuylkill County’s Clerk is a waste of taxpayer resources. We encourage her to reconsider her case, and continue to uphold the law, as directed by the Court.

To read the press release from the Smith Law Group, click this link.

ME4PA Inc Runs March Events

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

As if Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania weren’t busy enough becoming a legally recognized non-profit corporation this week, wePennsylvania map are moving forward with our events for the month of March. First, we are asking our followers, members, and friends in Pennsylvania to contact State Senator Joseph Scarnati. He is the President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate. We will be calling, writing letters, and sending emails to his Harrisburg office from March 10 through 14. The Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee has a bill, SB 300, which would end discrimination against the LGBT community for all public accommodations. We are asking Senator Scarnati to push the bill through the committee, or have it moved to another committee where it will be given an up or down vote.

At the end of the month, on March 26, we are holding candlelight vigils in Erie and Pittsburgh. These peaceful events mark the one year anniversary of the vigils held last year by GetEqual and MEUSA in response to the US Supreme Court oral arguments for DOMA and Prop 8. As we press forward toward our own federal court trial (Whitewood v. Wolf) in Harrisburg this June, we want to spread support for marriage equality and ending discrimination.

After we rally, we are focused on TWO MORE DAYS OF ACTION on March 27 and 28. We are asking our friends and fans to contact their state legislators in the PA House and Senate to pass HB and SB 300 to end legal discrimination. All of the details are on our webpage. It does not take much effort to call, write, or email. We must pass this legislation, or face getting fired from our jobs, evicted from our housing, and denied public accommodations such as lodging and transportation. Rallying and reaching out to the legislature are our best weapons in the non-violent fight against discrimination.

A New Chapter in Marriage Equality Fight from the Liberty City

Saturday, October 5th, 2013
Brian Silva, PA Rep. Brian Sims, Bob Sullivan (MEUSA Philly Local Organizer) at the rally after Rep. Sims spoke of the need for marriage equality in PA

Brian Silva, PA Rep. Brian Sims, Bob Sullivan (MEUSA Philly Local Organizer) at the rally after Rep. Sims spoke of the need for marriage equality in PA

Saturday afternoon, Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) and a number of civil rights organizations rallied at Logan Circle in Philadelphia to invigorate the late-blooming advocacy efforts for LGBT rights in Pennsylvania. Apart from raising awareness of LGBT issues, the rally marked the inaugural event for MEUSA’s newly formed Philadelphia Regional Organizing Committee (Philly–ROC) — the first local organization in the Liberty City that focuses on marriage equality issues. With Pennsylvania lagging far behind its neighboring states on LGBT rights issues — being the only Northeastern state without any form of same-sex marriage or civil union recognition — the expansion by MEUSA of the new organization is a welcome addition to LGBT advocacy groups in the Keystone State. Its strategic location in the state would certainly boost marriage equality efforts across the eastern region, with Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania (ME4PA) at present mainly having a larger presence in the western part of the state.

See the full story on the MEUSA News Blog.