The inexorable march of justice

Another one bites the dust…

Another one bites the dust…

A federal judge struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, handing gay rights advocates their second legal victory in as many days and striking the last remaining ban in the Northeast.

The state’s laws, which ban same-sex marriages, were struck down as unconstitutional by U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III, who ruled in favor of the 23 plaintiffs whose lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others.

“We are a better people than what these laws represent,” Jones wrote of same-sex marriage bans in his ruling, drawing comparisons between the civil rights movement and the modern gay marriage movement. ”It is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”


The ruling, from US District Judge John Jones, makes Pennsylvania the second state this week and 11th state since the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling on same-sex marriage to have its ban overturned in court.  But it’s possible the ruling will eventually be put on hold as it works through the appeals process, which would prevent future same-sex couples from marrying. (The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is urging Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, to not appeal the ruling.)

Jones, like judges in previous same-sex marriage cases, cited the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution and deemed Pennsylvania’s statutory ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional. Unlike many other states, the state constitution in Pennsylvania doesn’t have a provision barring same-sex marriages.

So, where do we stand?


What’s with Montana and North Dakota?

5 thoughts on “The inexorable march of justice

  1. What’s with Montana and North Dakota?

    Montana and North Dakota, where the men are men and the sheep are scairt.

    But, seriously:

    What’s wrong with a civil ceremony and contract? They still get the same benefits as traditional married couples, but without forcing churches to go against their religious beliefs.

    1. A marriage ceremony under civil law recognized throughout the country is exactly what this is all about, but not some “second tier” marriage. Plenty of people get married outside of churches these days, and that right should be extended to gay couples who meet the same state requirements as heterosexual couples. Churches as private organizations can offer group benefits, like a church wedding, to their members according to their own rules.

      1. The problem is that some gays do want to be married in a church and will bring a lawsuit to make it happen. Kind of like forcing a bakery or florist to cater their ceremony, even though the business might have misgivings or religious beliefs against it. Why would anyone want someone’s service if their heart wasn’t in it? There are plenty of other businesses out there who would be glad to provide the service. It’s called the free market.

      2. Filing a lawsuit doesn’t guarantee a win; in this case I’d say the chances are slim, and I’d oppose the attempt. A gay couple can go to a church that performs weddings for same-sex couples–that’s already possible, but they still need the state sanction (in most states) to make it legal.

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