Why Marriage Matters PA reports that the ACLU of Pennsylvania has just filed a motion for summary judgement in major PA marriage equality case Whitewood v. Wolf. The filing requests that the judge make a ruling that says denying marriage to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania is unconstitutional.
The Star-Ledger reports: “A total of 2,955 gay couples were married in New Jersey from Oct. 21, when same-sex weddings began under the orders of a state judge, through the end of March, according to the state health department. At the same time, 43,619 heterosexual couples were wed. That means about one of 15 marriages performed in the state during that period were for same-sex couples.”
The paper adds: “Activists said they expect the pace will increase as the wedding season begins next month. One observer said gay marriages could bring up to $94 million to New Jersey’s economy over the next three years. She suspects many couples from Pennsylvania, which does not allow gay marriage, will also cross the border to get hitched.”
We’re keeping you on your gay-game with this daily rundown of stories pertaining to Pennsylvania’s ongoing fight for equality.
MARRIAGE RECOGNITION: Dept. of Justice Stays Out Of PA Gay Marriage Fight
The U.S. Department of Justice … declined to intervene in a suit challenging a Pennsylvania law that bars recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, after DOJ attorneys concluded that the case did not implicate the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The government said that a suit challenging Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban could be decided without the court weighing in on the constitutionality of a provision of DOMA, known as Section 2, that gives states the right to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages carried [out in other states.] —Law 360
One of the first gay marriages took place in Muskegon Co.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS IN MICHIGAN
- Federal judge strikes down Michigan ban on same-sex marriage!
- (Reagan picked judge who threw out Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage.)
- Michigan AG calls for immediate freeze on ruling striking down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage.
- But before that decision’s made, Michigan counties begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
- Michigan’s first gay marriage takes place.
- Here’s video of that and some of the other Michigan gay marriages.
- The Federal Court decided to suspend gay marriages in Michigan, at least until an appeals court makes decision Wednesday.
- They better hurry up. In that short time, more than 300 same-sex marriage licenses were issued.
- We’ve got our fingers crossed.
A lot has been made of bills in Kansas and Arizona that would give Christian business owners and employees the right to refuse service to customers based on their religious feelings about gay marriage. Via Keystone Politics, though, blogger Tim Stuhldreher suggests that Pennsylvania may already have such a law on the books.
Despite yesterday’s bummer (albeit expected) news that a South Philly gay couple was denied a marriage license at City Hall, there’s still reason to be hopeful. I just came across this refreshing article on CBS Philly, in which an analyst — named Madonna, thank you — reports that support for marriage equality continues to be on the rise in our state:
I was wrong.
A couple of months ago I wrote in this space that I had two, seemingly conflicting beliefs: That gays ought to be able to get married. And that people whose consciences oppose gay marriage shouldn’t be required to offer services in support of those marriages.
The idea was to maximize freedom: To give both my gay friends and my conservative Christian friends a chance to live as well as possible. I was influenced by my upbringing in Kansas, among conservative Christians, people I believe to be good, people I still care about, but people with whom I disagree heartily on the topic of homosexuality and gay rights. It was an attempt at nuance. It was an attempt at balance. Freedom—as I have said a number of times—should not be a zero-sum thing.