ACLU lawsuit challenges Pa. same-sex marriage ban

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s anti-gay marriage law. The suit was filed on Tuesday on behalf of 21 Pennsylvanians who want to marry and have the state recognize their out-of-state marriages.

The federal suit– filed by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the National ACLU and the law firm of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller–alleges that state’s Defense of Marriage Act and refusal to marry lesbian and gay couples or recognize their out-of-state marriages violates the fundamental right to marry as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Pennsylvania case is Whitewood v. Corbett and directly involves 10 same-sex couples, two minor children and a widow who lost her partner of 29 years.

“We only want what every married couple wants – to express our love and commitment in front of friends and family and the security and protections that only marriage provides,” said plaintiff Deb Whitewood, who has been together with her spouse Susan Whitewood for 22 years. “Our life is built around our relationship and the family we have made.”

This lawsuit comes in the wake of the ACLU’s victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor, which requires federal recognition for lesbian and gay couples who are married in their home states.

Pennsylvania’s law defines marriage as between a man and a woman, similar to the federal law struck down by the Supreme Court, and it denies recognition to same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere.

Click here to view the Whitewood complaint.

2 comments

  • MyTakeOnIt

    I'm confident and satisfied with my own sexuality of being straight. Gays getting married has no effect on my getting married. Therefore, gays being married in PA is no threat to me, my marriage or my sexuality. Haters: get a clue.

  • lazrus444

    I like the way the ACLU pictures the Statue Of Liberty as an identifier on their logo. They are FAR from liberty. It's like the United Nations. An organization with no particular agenda except to favor the minority over the majority, like it or not. Like air brakes on a turtle.

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