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Domestic Partnership Rights will Save Real Marriages in Pennsylvania

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In Harrisburg, Penn., the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund board has now begun to consider how to provide domestic-partner benefits for unmarried couples including both, same-sex partners and unmarried different-sex partners. The State of Pennsylvania also wisely eliminated common-law marriage on September 17, 2003 with PNC Bank v. Workers’ Compensation.

Despite the loss of income these two events will create for lawyers and commonwealth judges who want to maintain as high a number of divorceable couples as possible, the intersection of these two events will ultimately help loving people, straight and gay, to bypass the brutality of marriage as it now exists in the State of Pennsylvania. Together, the elimination of common law marriage and the addition of domestic partner benefits will allow Pennsylvanians the opportunity to opt out of the legally punitive, state-made, contractual marriage and enter into real marriages under the new title of “life-long domestic partnerships.” In Pennsylvania, people who love one another may finally be defeating the Pennsylvania divorce industry — for the moment anyway.

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