Pennsylvania

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Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.
NO
Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
NO
Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?
YES
Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
YES
Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?

All government employees are protected by the U.S. Constitution against irrational discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, some measure of protection already exists under Title VII based on gender, which has been held to include gender identity and expression.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and several courts have interpreted Title VII to protect LGBT employees. Lambda Legal maintains that the EEOC adjudications regarding Title VII’s coverage should supersede contrary authority that exists in some federal circuits.

HIV & Healthcare

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NO
Does the state explicitly ban transgender exclusions in health insurance?
NO
Does the state explicitly ban transgender exclusions in health insurance?
NO
Does the state have laws that may be used to fight against health care discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity?
NO
Does the state have laws that may be used to fight against health care discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity?
Does Pennsylvania have an HIV criminalization law?

NO, Pennsylvania does not have a criminal statute that punishes people with an HIV diagnosis specifically for nondisclosure of HIV status prior to sexual conduct; however, all states have general criminal laws—such as reckless endangerment and assault laws—under which it is possible to prosecute an HIV-positive person for nondisclosure of HIV status prior to sexual conduct.

Has there been at least one HIV-based criminal prosecution—brought under an HIV-specific criminal law or a general criminal law—in Pennsylvania in recent years?

YES, in recent years, there has been at least one criminal prosecution for HIV nondisclosure in Pennsylvania.

Does this state have laws that criminalize or enhance the penalties for biting, spitting and/or throwing bodily fluids or substances (such as urine or excrement) if a person has been diagnosed with HIV?

YES, Pennsylvania also has laws that criminalize or enhance penalties for biting, spitting and/or throwing bodily fluids or substances (such as urine or excrement) if a person has been diagnosed with HIV, despite the fact that none of these activities presents any real risk of HIV transmission.  In Pennsylvania, these laws only apply in the correctional setting.

Does this state have criminal laws addressing HIV+ sex workers and/or HIV+ patrons of sex workers?

 YES, Pennsylvania also has laws that enhance punishments for HIV-positive people involved in commercial sexual transactions.  It is difficult to obtain accurate data on how often these laws are utilized in Pennsylvania, but there is growing evidence that in general these types of laws targeting sex workers are used much more frequently than other types of HIV criminalization laws.

Who may adopt?

Any individual. See 23 Pa. C.S.A. 2312.

Second-parent adoptions:

Expressly permitted by In re Adoption of R.B.F., 803 A.2d 1195 (Pa.  2002).

Public Accommodations

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NO
Public accommodations protections on the basis of sexual orientation?
NO
Public accommodations protections on the basis of gender identity?

Relationships

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YES
Does the state allow same-sex couples to marry?
YES
Does the state recognize marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions?
NO
Does the state offer any other type of relationship recognition for same-sex couples?

 

State statute prohibits marriage between same-sex couples. See 23 Pa. Const. Stat. §1704.

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