Philadelphia, PA October 3, 2013…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the introduction of the Pennsylvania Marriage Equality Act, calling it “a significant step forward” in the quest for equal rights and freedom from discrimination.

“We applaud lawmakers for taking a stand in support of equality by introducing legislation that gives same-sex couples the right to marry” said Barry Morrison, ADL Philadelphia Regional Director. “Passage of this bill would represent a significant step forward in the pursuit of individual liberty and freedom from discrimination for Pennsylvanians, and its impact will resonate far beyond state lines.”

The bill changes the definition of marriage from a  civil contract between one man and one woman who choose to be husband and wife to a civil contract between two people who choose to enter into matrimony. This legislation will also recognize marriages legally performed in other states. The bill would also provide protections for religious organizations and entities that do not wish to sanction, perform or in any way recognize same-sex civil marriages.

Morrison added,  “All citizens should be entitled to the same rights, protections and benefits, regardless of their sexual orientation. That includes the right for same-sex couples to marry.”

 The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry. To learn more about ADL’s stance on LGBT rights and other civil rights issues, visit our Civil Rights page.