Advancing LGBT Civil Rights

Other Initiatives

Marriage Recognition

Equality Forum coordinated a marriage equality lawsuit filed in federal court in Philadelphia in September 2013. The suit, Palladino v. Corbett, challenged the constitutionality of the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman and allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states. The case requested that the Pennsylvania statute and similar statues that discriminated against same-sex couples be declared unconstitutional. It raised important constitutional questions that had not been addressed by the courts, including the impact of the Full Faith and Credit clause, which requires states to respect the judgment, decrees and orders of other states, and the constitutional right to travel between states without penalty or deprivation of legal rights. It also raised claims under the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Constitution.


Project 1138

 This initiative increases public awareness of the 1,138 federal marital protections and benefits denied to same-sex couples. Equality Forum launched project 1138 in 2004 with a public demonstration, inviting couples to share their stories online. 



Identifying the GLBT Vote

The 2007 Philadelphia mayoral primary had five well-known, gay-friendly candidates. Equality Forum identified eight unique gay neighborhoods and selected 12 U.S. census tracks with the highest number of same-sex households. By reviewing results in those precincts, Equality Forum was able to objectively conclude that about 70% of the vote went to one of the five candidates.   

This initiative, which can be used in any municipality or state with a significant gay population, confirmed that the gay vote can be identified and that the gay community can be considered a voting bloc.


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