District Court Judge John E. Jones III writes in his decision. Tom Ridge, defined marriage as "a civil contract by which one man and one woman take each other for husband and wife. Here's how the ACLU, which filed the lawsuit, explains the case :. The lawsuit alleges that Pennsylvania'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. Supreme Court in U.
Gay Marriage Now Legal in Pennsylvania
Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U. It had never added such a ban to its State Constitution. The state has never recognized civil unions or domestic partnerships and was the last state in the Northeast region where same-sex couples could not legally marry. In September , the Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved Representative Allan Egolf 's R-Perry amendment to ban the performance and recognition of same-sex marriage by a vote of to 16, after an effort to rule it unconstitutional failed by a vote of to The Senate passed the legislation on October 1 by a vote of 43 to 5. Several attempts to recognize same-sex marriages failed in the General Assembly , but failed while the Republican Party had majorities in either the State Senate or House of Representatives.
Gay marriage: Pennsylvania attorney general pulls an Obama on DOMA
District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs -- a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples' two teenage daughters -- courageous. An appeal to the 3rd U.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday that he will not challenge a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying an appeal is "extremely unlikely to succeed. Corbett's decision came a day after District Court Judge John Jones declared the ban unconstitutional and said such laws should be tossed "into the ash heap of history. Unless a higher court intervenes, gay and lesbian couples can marry legally in Pennsylvania, now the 19th state — and the last in the Northeast — to allow same-sex marriage.