Pennsylvania: Gay couples challenge anti-equal marriage law in court
21 same-sex couples are calling on the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania to declare their marriages valid and the Pennsylvania Marriage Law unconstitutional.
In a hearing yesterday the attorney for Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett argued that “as a matter of law, [those couples] simply aren’t married.”
The couples – consisting of 14 pairs of women and seven pairs of men – have been in limbo following a court ruling preventing Montgomery County Clerk D Bruce Hanes from issuing further licences to same-sex couples – but the court said nothing about marriages already performed and recorded.
But the Pennsylvania Department of Health filed a lawsuit against Mr Hanes soon after, saying that the clerk had been “acting in clear derogation of the marriage law,” by issuing the licences to same-sex couples.
The law in the state defines marriage as a contract between one man and one woman.
A new lawsuit was filed on Wednesday arguing the ban is unconstitutional at a federal and state level.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the suit lists financial, legal, and emotional damages suffered by same-sex couples and says the legislature passed the law “based on no more than animus and fear.”
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