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Pennsylvania ruling: marriage ban unconstitutional

Timothy Kincaid

May 20th, 2014

Pennsylvania has become the latest state in which a Federal judge has ruled that marriage bans which exclude same-sex couples are in violation of the US Constitution. As of yet, there is no stay on the ruling. (WaPo)

In the wake of last June’s Supreme Court decision striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III said the commonwealth’s state version of the law was unconstitutional. The suit was brought on behalf of 23 plaintiffs by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“[W]e hold that Pennsylvania’s Marriage Laws violate both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” Jones wrote in his ruling, uploaded by equalitycasefiles.org.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) had refused to defend the law, so attorneys for the Office of General Counsel, which reports to Gov. Tom Corbett (R), stood in for the state.

At present, including Oregon and Pennsylvania, there are 19 states and the District of Columbia in which same sex couples may marry. There are an additional nine states in which a marriage ban has been found to be unconstitutional but in which the ruling has been stayed on appeal.

It’s election day (primary) in Pennsylvania and Governor Tom Corbett has yet to comment on the decision. His history with the case has been one of embarrassment, including his rejection of the arguments made by his legal team. I’m certain that he’s hoping that the election results will allow him to keep as low a profile on the ruling as possible.

I expect an appeal, but would not be shocked by “the courts have spoken”.

Comments

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Sandhorse
May 20th, 2014 | LINK

Looks like me and my other half have a date tomorrow.

As he would say:

WOOOHOOO!

Eric Payne
May 20th, 2014 | LINK

Hmmm… maybe, now, I might attend my 40th reunion in 2017. Maybe I can visit Jonestown and Hershey and Philadelphia, and not be haunted by memories of doctors and psychologists and the fading smell of burning flesh…

But I doubt it.

Amazing, though, the progress a culture can collectively undergo in just four decades. I can guarantee, though, it’s going to be another decade or two (or four) before that progress in the Commonwealth trickles down to the communities in Lebanon or Lancaster Counties.

Richard Rush
May 20th, 2014 | LINK

Now, same-gender spouses can finally travel together on Amtrak’s entire Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston without ever experiencing the anxiety of passing through a state that does not recognize their marriages! That’s eight states plus DC!

b
May 20th, 2014 | LINK

how long til a nice big STAY gets plopped down on the Commonwealth, as it has in Idaho and Arkansas?? :/

Timothy Kincaid
May 21st, 2014 | LINK

Sandhorse,

Please let us know when you go get married. And congratulations!!

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