The lawsuit in the US state of Pennsylvania challenging the state’s ban on equal marriage will be given a June trial date.

Judge John E Jones, of the US District Court in Harrisburg held a status conference on the lawsuit, the outcome of which is that he is to set a trial date for June, and a timetable for pre-trial discovery and depositions.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the state had requested a trial date in August, but Judge Jones said the delay

Judge Jones last week ruled that the state of Pennsylvania must defend the ban, despite assertions by the state that his court had no authority to rule in the case.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), was struck down by the US SUpreme Court in June, however Pennsylvania law defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

The plaintiffs in the case argue that the law violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. They incllude a widow, 11 couples and one couple’s two teenage daughters.

A 1996 state law defines marriage as between one man and one woman. The judge overseeing a challenge to Pennsylvania’s ban on equal marriage, last month paused before setting a trial date in the case.

US District Judge John Jones III said he needed time to consider and rule on pre-trial motions, before setting a date for a hearing