Ten Years Have Passed Since Pennsylvania Legalized Same-sex Marriage. A Local Politician is Working to Get Rid of Threats

Ten Years Have Passed Since Pennsylvania Legalized Same-sex Marriage. A Local Politician is Working to Get Rid of Threats

Monday, May 20 It will have been 10 years since same-sex marriage became allowed in Pennsylvania. A politician in the state is now going the extra mile to protect those rights and get rid of old legal language that could hold some marriages up.

Rep. Jessica Benham (D-South Side) is one of the co-chairs of the LGBTQ+ caucus in the state senate.

She is a supporter of a new bill from both parties that would get rid of parts of state rules that say marriage is only between a man and a woman.

He said, “Our laws are still written to say that marriage is between one man and one woman.” “If a court in Pennsylvania ruled against that right, we would go back to a system where some people’s marriage wouldn’t be recognized as legal.”

The bill is being pushed by Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Rep. Nat Yap. They want to protect couples at the state level, including Nat Yap and his husband.

When Yap and his husband moved to Pennsylvania from another state more than ten years ago, their marriage license from another state wasn’t accepted by the law.

“To be honest, it was hard since we were married in California but not in many other states, like Pennsylvania, when we first moved here,” Yap said.

It was years before Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage was found to be illegal on May 20, 2014. Yap and his husband got married in California.

Yap said, “We did have very real worries.”

A year later, the U.S. Supreme Court said that all 50 states could allow same-sex marriage.

Even though the courts overturned the ban, Yap is worried about his two young children if those rights to marriage equality are taken away.

There is still language in Pennsylvania’s laws that would not allow same-sex marriage if both court rulings are overturned.

“Laws can be changed, and the right to marry someone of the same gender could be taken away,” Yap said. Our family is the same as everyone else’s, and we will do everything we can to keep them safe. That means making sure we vote in every single election.

Later this year, Yap and his husband will celebrate 16 years of marriage in Shadyside.

Yap backs the bill and says it will give LGBTQ married couples in the commonwealth the same rights as everyone else.

“Writing these things down in law makes sure that everyone is treated the same and sends the message that we are all equal,” he said.

It is in the Judiciary Committee that the plan to protect same-sex marriage is lying.

“What I really want is for people to have protections written into law at the state level,” Benham said. “This includes the right for people to marry the person they love and the right for women to get health care.” “At the state level, we need to make sure we do everything we can to defend those rights.”

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