Lawyers challenging Pennsylvania’s law banning same-sex marriage are asking a federal judge to bypass a June trial in favor of a quick ruling in the case.
Pennsylvania is now the only state in the northeast which laws do not allow same-sex marriage.
But many couples have been saying since the beginning that they’re not letting up easy.
And now this motion filed may expedite what they’ve been fighting for, for years.
For Reverend Lori Rivera it was a personal experience that she hopes to experience one day.
“My partner and I have been together for 28 years, we’re waiting for it to be legal in Dauphin County so we too can get married,” says Rev. Lori Rivera.
Rivera married a gay Harrisburg couple back in July along the Susquehanna River.
“As with many couples who are having a service, you could just see the joy in their faces that they get to do this,” says Rev. Rivera.
It was after they received a license from Montgomery County Clerk, Bruce Hanes.
But it was one which was later deemed illegal, and his actions were frowned upon by others in the same position.
“We took an oath to support a ban to defend the constitution of the United States and the constitution of Pennsylvania and by what he did I believe he disavowed that oath,” says York County Clerk of Courts, Brad Jacobs.
The civil rights lawyers who are representing a widow, 11 couples, and one of the couples’ teen daughters filed the papers in federal court in Harrisburg on Monday.
They’re asking for a summary judgement, meaning a ruling without going to trial, because they say the state’s lawyers have not refuted their claims that the ban unlawfully prevents them from getting the same legal protection and tax benefits as married couples.
Couples in Dauphin County, like Rivera, say they’re holding out hope.
“We say that we’re the state that brings rights for all people declaring us free from tyranny yet we’re not letting all the citizens of the state have those rights,” says Rev. Rivera.
Governor Corbett’s lawyers, who are defending the constitutionality of the law, have two weeks to respond to the motion.