Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples’ two teenage daughters — courageous.
“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,” Jones wrote.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lebanon County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A United Methodist pastor defrocked for officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding has appealed the decision, a move that offered the latest evidence of a split in the nation’s largest mainline Protestant denomination and came as yet another state legalized gay marriage.
Frank Schaefer, who lives in central Pennsylvania, said he was shocked and upset that he could be punished for showing love for his son. He said he believed the penalty was meted out reluctantly by members of the church’s regional.
“So many of them came to me and they shook my hand and some hugged me, and so many of them had tears in their eyes,” Schaefer said. “They said, ‘We really don’t want to do this, you know that, don’t you?’”
Most other Protestant denominations have decided their position on the issue. But the Methodists, with about 7.7 million members in the U.S. and many more overseas, remain divided. At their last national meeting in 2012, delegates reaffirmed the church’s 40-year-old policy on gays.
HARRISBURG, PA – Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett on Friday compared same-sex marriage to the marriage of brothers and sisters.
The Republican governor, whose approval ratings have been low and who is up for reelection next year, made the comments during an interview with WHP-TV in Harrisburg, after being asked about a controversial statement his lawyers had made over the summer on gay marriage.
During the interview, Corbett called “inappropriate” his attorneys’ statement in an August court filing. In the filing, the attorneys wrote that gay marriage is against Pennsylvania law, just as marriage is between children.
The governor then told the news station that he thought “a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don’t you?”
WASHINGTON — In a major victory for gay rights, the Supreme Court today struck down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.
The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits.
The other was a technical ruling that said nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but left in place a trial court’s declaration that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. That outcome probably will allow state officials to order the resumption of same-sex weddings in the nation’s most populous state in about a month.
In neither case did the court make a sweeping statement, either in favor of or against same-sex marriage. And in a sign that neither victory was complete for gay rights, the high court said nothing about the validity of gay marriage bans in California and roughly three dozen other states. A separate provision of the federal marriage law that allows a state to not recognize a same-sex union from elsewhere remains in place.