A state lawmaker has introduced legislation that would allow civil unions in Pennsylvania.
Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Philadelphia) said his measure, House Bill 1178, would define a civil union as a union between two members of the same sex.
It would make all state laws applicable to marriage also applicable to a civil union, and also would allow reciprocity for civil unions performed legally in other states and the recognition of same sex marriage in other states as civil unions in Pennsylvania, Cohen said Tuesday.
"Nothing in this bill would require any religion or any clergyman to perform any ceremony uniting people in a civil union," Cohen said in a news release. "This legislation will merely offer committed gay couples the same legal rights that are bestowed upon married people without the status of marriage."
Cohen said House Bill 1178, which has 27 co-sponsors, has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.