Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
By The Associated Press
Monday, June 9, 2014, 10:00 p.m.
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.
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