Pennsylvania marriage ban may not get trial

Timothy Kincaid

April 22nd, 2014

The ACLU, which is challenging Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage, and Governor Tom Corbett (R), who is defending the ban, have both called on Judge John E. Jones III to not schedule a trial. (ACLU)

A trial became unnecessary after the commonwealth stated that it will not call any experts to counter the plaintiffs’ argument that there is no rational reason why lesbian and gay couples are excluded from marriage, nor does it plan to dispute the specific harms caused to the plaintiffs by the marriage ban. All legal papers in the case will be filed by May 12, meaning a ruling could come at any time after that date.

Both sides have presented written briefs and asked the judge for summary judgment.

Corbett’s defense of the ban has been tortured and troublesome.

On July 24, 2013, the county clerk in Montgomery County began issuing marriage licenses. And after the state Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) said that she was not defending the ban, Corbett took nearly a week before he announced that he would do so.

Then when his legal team filed a brief comparing same sex marriage to a union between 12 year olds, Corbett refuted the comparison and apologized. And then he provided a comparison of his own, marriage between siblings. And then found himself apologizing again.

Since that time, Corbett has tried to keep his defense of the ban mostly about “because it’s my job to defend the law” and has come out in support of a non-discrimination bill.

Nathaniel

April 22nd, 2014

It is one thing to waste time and money to create indefensible laws, then try to defend them. It is quite another to then waste time and money not even putting up a decent defense of said law. If you aren’t going to put any real effort into it, why bother? Of course, I guess he trying to save the state a little bit of money by avoiding the costs of an actual trial.

Lord_Byron

April 22nd, 2014

I know that the governor is not acting like he isn’t anti-gay, but i seriously doubt that illusion will really change anyone’s mind when he runs for reelection.

Lord_Byron

April 22nd, 2014

damn it i shouldn’t write when I’m tired. I meant to say I know that the governor is trying to act like he is not anti-gay.

BJohnM

April 22nd, 2014

I’d love to know if they’d planned to call Regnerus for this case, and then after his last drubbing by a judge, decided that probably wasn’t the best strategy?

Richard Rush

April 22nd, 2014

Part of the favorable pressure on Pennsylvania is the border it shares with four states having marriage equality: New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. And, Philadelphia is the only stop on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (Washington to Boston) without marriage equality.

Richard Rush

April 22nd, 2014

Back in December, 2013, this gem surfaced: The Corbett Administration’s hired lawyers sought sexual history information on the plaintiffs.

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/12/corbett_lawyers_seek_sexual_hi.html

Among the items requested were “documents showing “the natural parents” of both biological and adoptive children, which the lawyer noted would include any sperm donors; whether the plaintiffs were involved in any previous heterosexual relationships, and if so, the details of those; detailed information dating back 10 years for any other person with whom the plaintiffs resided; and the identification of “any and all health care providers from whom you have sought or received medical or psychological treatment or counseling for harm you have alleged to have suffered as a result of allegations” in the lawsuit.

Although I’m not sure, I don’t think this request went anywhere except the dumpster.

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