Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage: Judge Says Ban Is UnconstitutionalBy: Val Powell - May 22, 2014
On Tuesday, a federal judge struck down the ban of same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania, saying that it is unconstitutional. Judge John E. Jones said that the label “same-sex marriage” will be abandoned by future generations and simply call it “marriage.”
“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history,” the judge said.
With the ban of same-sex marriage thrown out, same-sex couples are now allowed to get their marriage licenses. After the judge’s ruling on Tuesday, hundreds of same-sex couples rushed to get their marriage licenses.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced that he would end his fight to stop same-sex marriage, stating, “The case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal.”
In October, Corbett’s comments on same-sex marriage stirred controversy among same-sex couples. He compared same-sex marriages to the marriage of brother and sister. “I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman,” the governor said.
Gov. Corbett compares same-sex marriage to brother and sister relationship
Pennsylvania is the 19th state in the U.S. to recognize same-sex unions.
According to Pennsylvania law, couples that have their marriage license must wait 3 days before they can get married. However, one couple was wed about an hour before the judge made his decision. The 3-day waiting period was waived for them.
Another couple, Jim Devaty and Stephen Miller, who have been together for more than 20 years, was excited about the ruling. They immediately applied for the marriage license after the judge’s ruling. “I’m in shock. In a way, I never thought I’d live to see the day when Jim and I could get married,” Miller said.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane said, “Today brings justice to Pennsylvanians who have suffered from unequal protection under the law because of their sexual orientation.”
With the ban on same-sex marriage lifted, same-sex couples are rejoicing and are happy that they can finally get married in their home state.
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