Judge Overturns PA’s Same-sex Marriage Ban

A federal judge struck down Pennsylvania’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage on Tuesday.

Judge John Jones III said the ban is unconstitutional.

People of the same sex can now apply for a marriage license in the state.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane released a statement on the decision:

“This is an historic day. More importantly, today brings justice to Pennsylvanians who have suffered from unequal protection under the law because of their sexual orientation. When state-sponsored inequality exists, citizens are deprived of the full protections that the Constitution guarantees. Our Commonwealth progressed today and so have the hopes and dreams of many who suffer from inequality.

“Today, in Pennsylvania, the Constitution prevailed. Inequality in any form is unacceptable and it has never stood the test of time. I have remained steadfast in my decision not to defend Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act because I made a legal determination as to the unconstitutionality of this law. I am pleased that a learned legal mind such as Judge Jones ruled similarly.”

The ruling would make Pennsylvania the last Northeast state to allow same-sex marriages. However, the state could challenge the decision before the Third U.S. circuit.

You can read the complete ruling by Judge Jones III  here.

101 comments

  • HappyAsCanBe

    I am truly happy that this finally happened in Pa! Now when the time comes, I can marry the man of my dreams in my home state. Go Pa! Kind of surprised it happened so fast, but definitely happy (:

  • Nick M

    But sadly Milville the Bible has no place in the laws in which this country is founded on. we already re defined marriage, you can no longer sell your daughter for cattle, and such.

  • lou

    way to go Pa..now my son can get married…and I will stand proud because he is a wonderful human being and so is his partner

  • myopinion

    Marriage is CONSERVATIVE choice. It’s mindless discrimination to deny people the right. Welcome to the enlightened PA.

  • MovingAway

    To be clear, I’m entirely in favor of the Court’s decision. My comment above referred to the countless homophobes commenting on this article.

  • Richard

    It’s funny, reading the comments here I’d say a lot of people didn’t read or understand the article. I’d also say there are a lot of intolerant people on both sides of this. And I would pose this question, why is government involved in marriage at all. Marriage was originally a religious thing, present in all major religions and most of the smaller ones. So based on the current idea of separation of church and state thy have no business recognizing it at all. And we can save the intent of “separation of church and state” for another time. But what we see in our society now has nothing to do with it.

    • Brian

      I agree to an extent. it became a government and equal rights issue once the government gave special rights to married couples. I used to believe that everyone should have to have a civil union from the government and then get married in whatever religious venue they prefer. If that is the way the equal marriage movement would ave followed then it would have given credence to the homophobes argument that gays wanted to destroy marriage. As someone who got a civil union in NJ i saw first hand how civil unions were treated as not so equal by companies like UPS. Therefore the movement went for full equality in marriage and Im glad they did because I can now convert that NJ CU to a full PA marriage and enjoy the same rights that any couple does in now most of the rest of the US.

  • Leslie Day

    Do you listen to the gospels you read? God would be ashamed that he created a person that has so much hate within their soul. If you condemn love, shame on you. That is not very Christian of you.

  • TJ Baloga

    “In sixty years since Brown was decided, “seperate” has thankfully faded into history, and only, “equal” remains. Similarly, in future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage. We are better people than what these laws represent, and it is a time to discard them into the ash heap of history”.

    This judge could not have said it any better!

    • Just Some Equality Supporter

      Finally, seemingly the only other person to read the 39 page decision other than me. :)

  • Gigi

    I am very proud that another state has found this mistreatment unconstitutional. Gay people PAY TAXES, and HAVE TO FOLLOW THE SAME LAWS, as the straight people do. Why is it right for them not be able to marry??? It comes down to everyone receiving the same treatment in this country we all call home!!!
    I am very happy for this news.

  • Happy2bAlive

    No one is forcing you to believe anything. This has simply reasserted that my your beliefs do not govern my beliefs. Tell me how this has forced you to believe something.

  • yarsk71

    I was extremely proud of my home until I read these hateful comments. Dear God, this change is going to alter your lives drastically! Eat rocks.

  • Nathan

    I think is good idea for the same sex marriage because it is the 21st century. And times have changed it is up to a persons mind to choose who they want to marry.

  • Leslie Day

    This is the best news I ever heard! I am so proud of this state for finally recognizing that all people should be treated equal under the law! That is what this country was founded on. Today is a day to celebrate. And to all you Christians that are filled with hatred in your heart… “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” -ghandi
    May the celebrations begin!

    • Brian

      Love that Ghandi quote. So true. Why are people that profess to follow the man who preached nothing but love, the most hate filled people in this country?

  • Happy2bAlive

    If one does not like green eggs and ham…Don’t eat them. if One does not like gay marriage…don’t get one. If one does not like either… don’t tell me what i should eat or whom I should marry.

  • dragonflymay21948

    This will bring God:s judgment down on us all in PA…spineless judge did NOT do anything constitutional, our forefathers would never have wanted this…This is a sad day for Pennsylvania!!! Its a slap in the face of true justice…I do not recall EVER voting on this to become any law and this defames MY constitutional rights!!!!!

    • Leslie Day

      You don’t vote on state Supreme Court rulings. They determine if the law is constitutional or not. Yikes! Someone should have paid attention in civics class.

    • LC

      Everyone get’s the same rights. That’s how this works. Someone else getting married, gay or straight, does not infringe upon your rights. Maybe America isn’t the place for you if you hate freedom so much.

    • RS

      You, sir/ma’am, are a moron. How on earth are your Constitutional rights being “defamed”?? LOL
      I don’t remember any of us voting on the Constitution of the United States. Equality is a Constitutional right of every person living in this country. If you don’t like same-sex marriage, DON’T GET ONE!

      • rsechler698

        And by all means, if you have a problem with the basic tenets that this country was founded on and wish to live in a country based on religion…please move to Iran. Thanks. Byeeee

  • Cnat

    What a remarkable day in history. Land of the free. As for the People leaving hateful comments, if you’re not gay, it duesnt affect you. So sit down and let it be.

  • Tommy B

    Pennsylvania is. to allowing same sex marriage. That would imply the people of this great state are in favor of. Instead it is forced down our throats and there is nothing we can do EXCEPT remember this on Election Day. Remember Kane and Jones and vote NO!!!!

    • James

      Too bad you apparently don’t know how Federal Judges ‘work’ (for lack of a better term)…they are appointed by the PRESIDENT of the US and are there for life; you have absolutely no say in whether or not he remains a judge in PA.

    • Kyle

      Tell me, what is being forced down your throat? Because, I don’t remember anything saying that YOU need to marry a guy. Come back when you have an argument that has substance.

  • Tim

    If my son wanted to marry another man I will disown him for the rest of my life and the same goes for my daughter if she marrys a girl shes out of my life

    • Kiki

      As someone who has actually been disowned by their parents for being LGBT, you know not the heart-numbing pain that will cause. I was a hard-working, Penn State Accounting Grad, a prominent leader both on campus and in The Rotary, I left NEPA & all the hate and judgement there for California, where people are actually judged for their individual merit and contribution as a human being. Good riddance to PA! As more and more educated, hard-working people leave, NEPA will sink further and further into its own ignorance. I hope you enjoy each other!

      • LC

        Would you like to join our official “I left NEPA and it was the best decision I ever made” club? We meet around Christmas when we have no choice but to visit our parents.

  • SRV

    Marriage is between a man and a woman. That is how it’s DESIGNED. If you must, get a civil union. They best not think they can MAKE all churches marry them. So much for freedom of religion.

    • Matt

      The ignorance being displayed here frightens me. Marriage is designed for a man and a woman? Marriage isn’t just a Christian religious union and, in fact, has been around well before Christianity was formed over 2000 years ago. People weren’t always married in churches either, that’s relatively recent (last 150 years). So you’re telling me that if I emigrated to the United States with the thought that I have religious freedom (like you’ve stated) and my religion condones same-sex marriage but…I couldn’t because it’s not okay with you and your religion? You’re right, so MUCH for freedom of religion.

  • Ruckus

    Nooooooo this is an outradge ban same sex ban it. What will our founding fathers think about this.Get married in San Francisco

  • Happy2bAlive

    The same argument was used against interracial marriages as well. It didn’t make sense then either.

  • ParentsUnderSiege

    And also to end slavery, and voting rights for african americans… to add a few more… lets get with the times, all people were created equal!!! Not just the straight, white, and men…

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