HARRISBURG — The federal judge who struck down Pennsylvania's law banning the recognition of same-sex marriage said on Monday that he saw no proof it undermines the institution of marriage or weakens families.
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, responding to criticism of his decision, noted that Gov. Tom Corbett's administration did not even try to establish such a link in the case before him. He suggested that such a link is not persuading any other judge, either.
“There's a reason that I was the 13th of 13 judges to decide that because that has not held water in any of the cases that have been litigated in the United States,” Jones said on WITF-FM's hourlong show “Smart Talk.”
He was responding to a statement by Bishop David A. Zubik of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh read to him by the show's host. In the statement, Zubik said: “We as a culture have been steadily eroding the strength of our families by undermining the sacredness of marriage. The decision rendered today simply is another step down that road.”
Jones' May 20 decision to strike down Pennsylvania's 1996 law banning same-sex marriage made him the 13th state or federal judge to make a similar finding in an unbroken string of victories for gay-marriage backers.
“I am concerned as (Zubik) is about the family structure in the United States, but I think to relate it to this particular issue, frankly, was not proven and has not been proven,” Jones said.
A day after Jones' decision, Corbett said he would not appeal it, ending the fight to prevent same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
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.