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TO THE ASH HEAP OF HISTORY: Judge strikes down Pa.'s gay marriage ban

TO THE ASH HEAP OF HISTORY: Judge strikes down Pa.'s gay marriage ban

By Jack Matson // Special to VOICES

Gregory (left) and Joseph Scalzo (right) after their wedding ceremony on Aug. 19, 2013 at the house of State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham.

In a landmark ruling today, US District Judge John E. Jones III struck down Pennsylvania’s Marriage Laws, allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state of Pennsylvania.

In his ruling, Jones remarked that “we are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”

The ruling will allow gay and lesbian couples to marry within the state Pennsylvania, and also requires the state to recognize gay marriages performed outside the state.

“We now join the twelve 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.”
— US District Judge John E. Jones III

It finalizes this portion of a July 9 lawsuit brought by eleven gay and lesbian couples against Pennsylvania. Five couples sought marriage in Pennsylvania, and six were seeking recognition for their out of state marriage.

Additionally, a single widow sought recognition for her marriage to her late spouse, and two teenagers joined the suit with their parents to have their family recognized under the law.

Corbett spokesperson Allen Zieglar confirmed that the Corbett administration did not plan to appeal the ruling. The governor said in a press release that he considered the case “extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal,” and that while his personal beliefs remain unchanged, he would follow the law as interpreted by the courts.

This story has been updated to reflect a statement from Gov. Corbett's office.

Sean Flynn is the managing editor of Voices of Central Pennsylvania. Email him at [email protected], or find him on Twitter: @VoicesPAEditor.
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