Pennsylvania’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage became the latest law felled by a federal judge on Tuesday.
“We now join the 12 federal district courts across the country which, when confronted with these inequities in their own states, have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil,” U.S. District Judge John E. Jones wrote in his opinion.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s office defended his state’s law after Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who declared it unconstitutional, refused to fight the legal challenge. Corbett is likely to appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The plaintiffs in the case—a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples' two teenage daughters—claimed the law inflicts harm on same-sex couples and their children by depriving them of the legal protections and tax benefits afforded to married couples.
The last two days have been busy for same-sex marriage court cases. An Oregon judge overturned that state’s ban on Monday. And a federal court in Utah ordered state officials there to recognize more than 1,000 gay marriages conducted after a judge overturned its law. After two weeks, the U.S. Supreme court stopped the ceremonies with an emergency stay. The Obama administration announced it would recognize the unions, whether the state did or not.