LGBT advocates: In wake of DOMA ruling, much work to be done in PA

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Jun 26, 2013 11:39 AM
Rainbow flag, gay rights

(Harrisburg) -- The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in the midstate has been celebrating the Supreme Court's ruling striking down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

In Harrisburg, people packed the LGBT Community Center of Central PA this morning to hear the high court's ruling.

Executive Director Louie Marvin says despite the ruling, more work needs to be done to change state laws to include protections for LGBT people.

He's quick with a list of gay rights issues.

"We need to make sure that folks aren't fired (for being gay), we need to make sure that our youth are protected in schools from bullying, we need to make sure that trans(gender) individuals can access the health care they need, and we need to make sure that our homeless youth are able to be taken care off," Marvin says.

Hava Lynn Pell is a retired rabbi and financial planner with many LGBT clients.

She says the Supreme Court's ruling that states should determine whether gay couples can marry sets the stage for a battle in the commonwealth.

"I've talked with a lot of representatives and state senators and one of the things that people have claimed to me is that they have no gay and lesbian constituents in their district," Pell says. "If there's that level of denial, we have a ways to go."

LGBT advocates are planning a party at the community center tonight at 8.

In the interview below, witf's Craig Layne talks with Louie Marvin about the possible impact of the Supreme Court's rulings on Pennsylvania:

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released the following statement:

"The Church teaches that everyone has inviolable dignity and deserves love and respect. There are many ways to protect the basic human rights of all, but today’s redefining of marriage serves no one’s rights, least of all those of children. Everyone should be treated equally, but it is not discrimination to treat differently things that are different.

The difference is the difference. Men and women matter. They are equal but different. Sexual difference is essential to marriage.

We see the issue as not about equality, but rather about the purpose of marriage. We see marriage as a communal good that through the permanent and exclusive union of one man and one woman can bring life into the world, not one that is simply for the emotional benefit of 2 people.

Marriage belongs not to the State nor to the Church, but is a natural institution which both should recognize. In today’s decisions the State is overreaching in redefining it. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance."


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