Pennsylvania Judge Refuses To Block Challenge To Gay Marriage Ban

Pennsylvania Courthouse

Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast that blocks gay marriage thanks to a 17-year-old law that bans the recognition of marriage between same-sex couples.

JonesThe law soon may be no more as a federal court challenge of the law has been allowed to proceed after U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III refused the motions brought up to block the challenge and dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed in July by the ACLU on behalf on 10 couples and a widow. It's just one of several legal challenges to the state's gay marriage ban.

In his 10-page decision, Jones wrote, "The jurisprudence of equal protection and substantive due process has undergone what can only be characterized as a sea change since 1972," rebutting the defendent's assertions that his court lacks the power to hear the case.

Jones scheduled a conference for November 22 and recommended the lawyers for the case come "fully prepared" to discuss a trial start date. 


  1. woody says

    This is the same judge who, a few years back, ruled that creationism can’t be taught in science classes. So this is very good news. He’s a republican too, so the right can’t complain of liberal judges. But, boy, they screamed bloody murder when he ruled against teaching creationism!

  2. simon says

    What the judge said is significant. He sees this as equal protection and noticed the sea change since 1972 as opposed to the “traditional marriage” mantra of the religious right.

  3. oncemorewithfeeling says

    A Republican who accepts that the world CAN change for the better?

    Wow. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have back the sane Republicans of fifty or so years ago, the ones who used to quibble over the best way to improve the country as opposed to the ones today who are manipulated by billionaires who want to destroy the country entirely?

  4. Chris S. says

    Note: he didn’t decide against creationism. SCOTUS had already banned that in a previous case. The Kitzmiller v. Dover case was about intelligent design. Which, frankly, makes Judge Jones even more awesome, since he saw through the stupid ruse.