Meet Pennsylvania Families: Ed Hill and David Palmer

Born and bred Pennsylvanians, Ed, 67, grew up near Pittsburgh and David, 65, grew up outside of Wilkes-Barre in Trucksville. They’ve been together for almost 25 years and are planning a big party to celebrate their silver anniversary soon.


Ed is a veteran of the U.S. Navy who served in Vietnam and, after that, spent most of his career at the Department of Veterans Affairs. David was director of exhibitions at a museum. When Ed was offered early retirement in 1996, they opened a bed and breakfast in Bangor. The couple retired “for real” five years ago.

“We have been a family for 25 years, and loved and support each other through ever endeavor,” David said. “We knew we wanted to spend our lives together, so we decided to commit ourselves to one another in front of our friends and family.”

Ed and David got married on May 10, 2013 in Maine. Ed’s 90-year-old aunt was the flower girl.

“We would have preferred to marry in our home state of Pennsylvania, where more of their friends and family could have joined in our celebration, but after 25 years together, we did not want to wait any longer to marry” Ed said. “And, as seniors, we worried that we might not live to see the day when they could marry at in our home state of Pennsylvania.”

Despite being together for over 25 years and serving our country, Ed and David are treated as legal strangers in Pennsylvania because same-sex couples are denied the freedom to marry. As they grow older, Ed and David are faced with worries, both medical and financial, that would be alleviated if they were allowed to marry.

“Like many seniors on fixed incomes, we are concerned about managing financially in our retirement,” David said. “We’ve even talked about moving to another state where our marriage would be recognized and we would have more financial security. But we don’t want to leave our home and community. This is where we met 25 years ago, and this is where we want to grow old together.”

CLICK HERE to sign the petition to support the freedom to marry in Pennsylvania.