US: Pennsylvania clerk takes appeal against same-sex marriage to Supreme Court
A Pennsylvania clerk who is fighting for the right to defend the state’s already-removed same-sex marriage ban has taken her appeal to the Supreme Court.
Same-sex marriage was legalised in Pennsylvania following a ruling by Judge John Jones on May 20, and was cemented as law when the state’s Governor, Tom Corbett, refused to appeal, alongside the Attorney General.
Despite the law already being in effect, Schuylkill County clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney had earlier this month sought permission to file an appeal, claiming that she had standing to appeal as the ruling had made the scope of her duties unclear.
Her appeal has been rejected by both Judge Jones and an appeals court, but Santai-Gaffney has now filed papers with the Supreme Court, arguing that she should be allowed to defend the ban.
She filed the appeal with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who could either rule on his own or involve his colleagues.
She argues that the Supreme Court has previously “signaled to all lower federal courts” that they must act “to preserve the enforcement of man-woman marriage laws” until appeals are concluded, by staying a same-sex marriage ruling in Utah.
As the deadline for any potential appeals has now passed, Santai-Gaffney’s appeal is now the last stand of opponents of marriage equality in the state.
Judge Jones originally ruled that her “deep personal disagreement” with same-sex marriage did not give her any standing to act on behalf of the state.
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