WHEREAS, the majority of households in Philadelphia do not consist of married couples;[1]

WHEREAS, non-traditional households nonetheless lack the recognition, support and benefits provided to traditional households;

WHEREAS, this lack of recognition has often led to the denial of basic rights and privileges to non-traditional households, including the denial of health insurance, life insurance and pension benefits and the denial of leave to care for sick or disabled family members;

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Philadelphia is considering legislation that would redress these wrongs by establishing procedures for registering domestic partnerships, conferring certain legal rights to domestic partnerships and amending the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance to prohibit discrimination on the basis of domestic partnership or marital status;

WHEREAS, domestic partnership is typically defined as:

An intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring between two (2) persons of the same sex, who consider themselves to be members of each other's immediate family and who have registered their partnership.

WHEREAS, at least fifteen cities throughout the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Minneapolis, have enacted domestic partnership ordinances, and several other cities, including Chicago and New York, are currently considering the issue;

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has an interest in equality of treatment for all of Philadelphia's citizens and the prohibition of discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment on bases including domestic partnership or marital status;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association that:

  1. It supports the passage of legislation recognizing domestic partnerships for same-sex couples and which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of domestic partnership or marital status.

  2. The Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association shall issue a letter of support for such legislation to the Mayor and the City Council of the City of Philadelphia.

  3. The Chancellor may take such other measures to support domestic partnership legislation as he deems appropriate.

1. According to 1990 Census data, only 37.7 percent of Philadelphia's households are comprised of married couples.

ADOPTED: November 18, 1993