John M. Becker

Marriage Is Safe in PA: Gov. Won't Appeal

Filed By John M. Becker | May 21, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: ACLU, appeal, gay marriage, marriage equality, Pennsylvania, same-sex marriage, Tom Corbett

aclu-pennsylvania-corbett-marriage.jpgLast week, when Idaho's marriage discrimination amendment was ruled unconstitutional, I joked on Facebook and Twitter that I left the house to walk the dog and when I returned, another one had fallen.

Well today, it happened again: last hour I left to take Rosie out for a walk, and I returned to the news that Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania's Republican governor, announced in a statement that he will not appeal yesterday's federal court ruling striking down Pennsylvania's marriage discrimination amendment.

"I have thoroughly reviewed Judge Jones' opinion in the Whitewood case," the statement reads. "Given the high legal threshold set forth by Judge Jones in this case, the case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal. Therefore, after review of the opinion and on the advice of my Commonwealth legal team, I have decided not to appeal Judge Jones' decision.

This means that marriage equality is safe in the Keystone State, and the northeast is now completely in the freedom-to-marry column. Hundreds of same-sex couples have already applied for marriage licenses.

Pennsylvania is the 19th marriage equality state. Number 18, Oregon, joined the list just two days ago. From the West Coast to the East, welcome to the right side of history!

Governor Corbett's full statement is after the jump.

News for Immediate Release

May 21, 2014

Statement Regarding the Opinion of Judge Jones in the Whitewood Case

"I have thoroughly reviewed Judge Jones' opinion in the Whitewood case. Given the high legal threshold set forth by Judge Jones in this case, the case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal. Therefore, after review of the opinion and on the advice of my Commonwealth legal team, I have decided not to appeal Judge Jones' decision.

"As a Roman Catholic, the traditional teaching of my faith has not w??avered. I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. My duties as Governor require that I follow the laws as interpreted by the Courts and make a judgment as to the likelihood of a successful appeal.

"Throughout the debate on this important and meaningful issue, I have maintained that Commonwealth officials and agencies would follow the provisions of Pennsylvania's marriage law unless or until a court says otherwise. The court has spoken, and I will ensure that my administration follows the provisions of Judge Jones' order with respect for all parties.

"It is my hope that as the important issue of same-sex relationships continues to be addressed in our society, that all involved be treated with respect."

Media contacts:

Jay Pagni, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116

Joshua Maus, Office of General Counsel, 717-346-4463

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Image via the ACLU.


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