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Today It’s Pennsylvania’s Turn To See Its Marriage Ban Struck Down In Court

gaymarriage_2245445bYesterday, Oregon. Today it’s Pennsylvania’s turn. U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III ruled that the state statute banning marriage equality is unconstitutional, extending the legal winning streak and dealing yet another blow to marriage opponents.

“We now join the 12 federal district courts across the country which, when confronted with these inequities in their own states, have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage,” Jones wrote.

Jones’s ruling is particularly noteworthy because he is a well-connected Republican. He previously served as co-chair of then-Gov. Tom Ridge’s transition team. Yet his decision explicitly rejects the usual defenses for marriage bans.

The issue we resolve today is a divisive one,” Jones wrote. “Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection. Were that not so ours would still be a racially segregated nation.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, had refused to defend the ban. Gov. Tom Corbett, who represents the knuckle-dragging contingent of the GOP, is likely to seek an appeal.

There is a three-day waiting period for weddings after marriage licenses are issued, but clerks are expected to waive that requirement, so marriages may begin shortly. Pennsylvania is the last state in the northeast that had a standing ban on marriage equality.

By:           John Gallagher
On:           May 20, 2014
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 3 Comments
    • Winter79
      Winter79

      Jones is a Republican, but he’s one who has never been afraid to go against his party’s official line when he thinks it’s the right thing to do.

      Up till now, he was most famous as the author of the Kitzmiller v. Dover School District ruling, which found that Intelligent Design is just creationism by another name and its teaching is science classes therefore violates the Establishment clause.

      IOW, he was exactly the right judge to hear this case.

      May 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      I cry with joy for the wedded -to-be people and laugh in derision at NOM and their marriage opponents. Maybe NOM can offer knitting crocheting lessons in their free time now. Cry me a river, Brian and Maggie-poo!

      May 21, 2014 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • toberlin
      toberlin

      :)Mr.Jones,I have nothing to add.

      May 21, 2014 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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