Pa. lawyers defend gay marriage ban
HARRISBURG — Lawyers for Gov. Tom Corbett's administration are urging a state judge to uphold Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage by throwing out a lawsuit brought by more than two dozen same-sex couples that challenges its constitutionality.
Attorneys for Health Secretary Michael Wolf filed a brief this week in Commonwealth Court, opposing the lawsuit brought by 28 same-sex couples who obtained marriage licenses from a suburban Philadelphia court clerk last year.
They drew distinctions between the case and last year's landmark gay marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, saying the ruling did not say states must allow or recognize same-sex marriage or say it would be a constitutional violation to limit marriages to between a man and a woman.
“Same-sex marriage is not deeply rooted in our nation's history so as to be implicit in the concept of ordered liberty and, therefore, cannot be considered a fundamental right,” the attorneys argued, adding that a majority of states still limit marriages to between a man and a woman.
“The very recent developments among a minority of states do not transform same-sex marriage into a ‘deeply rooted' historical and traditional right,” the state's lawyers said.
The Pennsylvania lawsuit is one of several court challenges to the ban.
Alexander Bilus, who represents the couples who filed the lawsuit, called the administration's briefs unconvincing and said his side would produce a response for the court. Bilus said judicial decisions generated in the wake of the United States v. Windsor case that resulted in the landmark ruling have tended to support his clients' position.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Philadelphia man pleads guilty to strangling wife, says he snapped during fight over his texts to another woman
- Families use children’s obituary notices to shine light on drug addiction
- Nonprofits in Pa. barely break even, survey finds
- Greeting cards used to get Suboxone into Crawford County jail
- Bee crisis deepens; Pa. keepers turn to making honey over pollination
- Teen dies in fall into Lawrence County creek