Ban on Gay Marriage Struck Down in Pennsylvania

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U.S. District Judge John E. Jones, III ruled that Pennsylvania’s law banning marriage equality is unconstitutional.  Pennsylvania becomes the tenth state where a federal judge has struck down a marriage ban since the U.S. Supreme Court issued their two marriage-related rulings last year. Here is a link to the ruling: http://coop.pamd.uscourts.gov/13-1861.pdf

Attorney General Kane announced in July of 2013 that the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General would not defend the governor and the Secretary of Health with regard to Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act in Whitewood, et al v. Corbett, et al.

Attorney General Kane, after a legal analysis, determined the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional pursuant to both the U.S. Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution. As such, a lawyer may not ethically defend her client in a lawsuit where there exists a material difference. In this instance, the unconstitutionality of DOMA was at issue. Accordingly, the Commonwealth Attorneys Act authorizes the AG to delegate the case to the Governor’s Office of General Counsel.

Kane issued the following statement:

“This is an historic day. More importantly, today brings justice to Pennsylvanians who have suffered from unequal protection under the law because of their sexual orientation. When state-sponsored inequality exists, citizens are deprived of the full protections that the Constitution guarantees. Our Commonwealth progressed today and so have the hopes and dreams of many who suffer from inequality.

Today, in Pennsylvania, the Constitution prevailed. Inequality in any form is unacceptable and it has never stood the test of time. I have remained steadfast in my decision not to defend Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act because I made a legal determination as to the unconstitutionality of this law. I am pleased that a learned legal mind such as Judge Jones ruled similarly.”

In response to today’s news out of Pennsylvania, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:

“Today a federal judge appointed by President George W. Bush became the latest to uphold the most sacred ideals of this nation and our Constitution – that justice and equality matter above all else. It seems that every passing day brings LGBT Americans a new victory in our unwavering march toward justice.  And thanks to our friends at the ACLU of PA and ACLU National, the attorneys of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, and the proud plaintiffs who brought this case, the inescapable reality of full equality under the law is now one step closer.”

The Pennsylvania Family Institute issued this statement:

“This decision tosses aside not just the definition of marriage recognized in law by an overwhelming majority of the people’s representatives, but the definition that has been in place in Pennsylvania since our commonwealth’s founding more than two centuries ago,” said PFI president Michael Geer.

Whitewood v. Wolf was filed on July 9, 2013 by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the ACLU and counsel from the law firm of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller on behalf of 21 Pennsylvanians seeking the right to marry or for the Commonwealth to recognize their out-of-state marriages.  The suit challenges a law passed by the state legislature in 1996 that restricts marriage to the union of one man and one woman.

To date there have been at least six marriage cases filed in Pennsylvania, two in federal court and four in state court.

In today’s ruling, Judge Jones wrote, “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”

 

9 comments

  • weimerheimer

    Yet another fine example of the destruction caused by the Liberals in this State and country of what a REAL married couple was designed to be by God. To all those involved with the ACLU ……. good luck on that "judgement day".

  • TheOpinionatedOne

    May be legal in the eyes of the law, but still immoral according to the Word of God.

  • John

    "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil"

    Marriage is between a man and a woman. Period. If men or women were supposed to marry each other, they would be able to procreate. Their unions would be good for the body. Neither defines their unions. The liberals in this state seem to believe society's selfish sexual inhibitions should be a "right" over the right of children to have a mom and a dad.

    Also, you see the rainbow on that gay flag? That rainbow is a symbol of a union with God and His people. You as people are created by God but your unions are not what God wants and even if you don't believe in God, you better have a good reason on judgement day. I pray because my heart breaks for our state and our nation.

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  • Julie

    Why not just get rid of marriage all together? I mean really why do we allow the government to dictate what is right and wrong? Maybe the ban on illegal drugs should be removed too, I mean if it makes you happy it must be right, everyone deserves to be happy, right? It may come in the form of sex, marriage, drugs, alcohol, or whatever wouldn't it be inequality to deny an American the chance or avenue to be happy oh and don't forget about health insurance no matter what choices I make I should be covered for we are all equal and should get everything anyone else is able to get! This country is getting to the point where I don't want to live here anymore the absolute ignorance to a black and white issue is ridiculous! Not to mention the money spent on disputing these insane issues all while we still have children in our own country that go to bed hungry and our in worse circumstances! Backwords as backwards get!

  • Keith Pullman

    There is no good reason to deny that we must keep evolving until an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, monogamy or polyamory, race, or religion is free to marry any and all consenting adults. The limited same-gender freedom to marry is a great and historic step, but is NOT full marriage equality, because equality "just for some" is not equality. Let's stand up for EVERY ADULT'S right to marry the person(s) they love. Get on the right side of history!

  • Parrothead

    I did't know we had so many snake-handlers and grass eaters around here. I thought that was only in Appalachia.

Comments are closed.