PA Could “Tip the Scales” For Gay Marriage

Nearly half the United States lives where gay marriage is legal. Pennsylvania could prove pivotal.

The Inquirer reports today that nearly half the United States lives where gay marriage is legal—and that the cases challenging Pennsylvania’s ban could prove pivotal in the national debate, increasing that amount to more than 50 percent.

John Culhane, a law professor at Widener University, said Pennsylvania is more vulnerable than most of the other states because its ban is not enshrined in the state Constitution. That means opponents can challenge the law on state and federal grounds.

The commonwealth also is unique in that it is home to 118 same-sex couples who married here but who aren’t sure whether their marriages are valid.

Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which supports the current marriage law and says a majority of voters and elected officials agree, objects to the portrayal of same-sex marriage as “a growing tide,” when so many states’ laws are being decided in courtrooms.

“If they’re confident that public opinion is changing and it’s inevitable, if you will – well, then let this process work. It’s a policy decision,” he said. “In essence, it’s been taken out of the hands of the people of Pennsylvania.”

We’ll have to see what the courts decide.