Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Keystone Progress: Love and Constitution win in PA Marriage decision

Keystone Progress applauds the ruling of the federal court in Whitewood v. Wolf, which declares that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry and have their marriages recognized in Pennsylvania.  At long last, Pennsylvania joins the growing list of states to recognize the marriages of same sex couples and it becomes the final northeast state to grant that right.

“Keystone Progress and innumerable allies have been working for years to ensure equal rights for the LGBT community here in Pennsylvania and today is a validation of all that hard work,” said Brenda Barron, Organizing Director for Keystone Progress.  “Now that federal district court has ruled, we encourage Governor Corbett to be on the right side of history and to not appeal the decision and use any more taxpayer dollars to discriminate against Pennsylvanians.”

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 21 Pennsylvanians by the The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the American Civil Liberties Union, and volunteer counsel from the law firm of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller alleged that Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act and refusal to marry LGBT couples or recognize their out-of-state marriages violates the fundamental right to marry as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The court agreed.

“It is important to note that, though this is a great victory for equality today, it is still legal to fire an employee for being gay.  That is why Keystone Progress and numerous other partners in Pennsylvania have been fighting to pass Senate Bill and House Bill 300 which would amend the PA Human Human Relations Act to protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accomodations, ,” said Barron.  “We must remember that the fight for equality is far from over.”

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