PA Equality Advocates Respond to Today’s Marriage Decision

My inbox became inundated this afternoon, only moments after U.S. District Judge John Jones III made his decision to strike down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage. I was hearing from marriage equality advocates from across the state — giants who have been fighting and stomping for this right in courtrooms and boardrooms and at rallies for years. Here’s an updating round up of what some of them have to say:

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin: “Today a federal judge appointed by President George W. Bush became the latest to uphold the most sacred ideals of this nation and our Constitution — that justice and equality matter above all else. It seems that every passing day brings LGBT Americans a new victory in our unwavering march toward justice. And thanks to our friends at the ACLU of PA and ACLU National, the attorneys of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, and the proud plaintiffs who brought this case, the inescapable reality of full equality under the law is now one step closer.”

Attorney General Kathleen Kane: “Today, in Pennsylvania, the Constitution prevailed. Inequality in any form is unacceptable and it has never stood the test of time.” — via Twitter

Ted Martin, executive director for Equality PA: “It’s always a good day in PA when love wins. Equality PA members have been waiting for this day for a long time, and we thank Judge Jones for being fair minded in his decision. Marriage really matters to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples in deeply important ways. We hope that Gov. Corbett decides not to appeal this important decision and we look forward to celebrating many weddings in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.”

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry: “Today’s win in Pennsylvania finally brings the freedom to marry to the entire Northeast. Loving and committed couples and their families in the nation’s sixth largest state will be able to share in the joy, security and dignity that come with the freedom to marry. The stone that was once left out has become the keystone, and now it’s time to finish the job nationwide.”

Philadelphia State Representative Brian Sims: “I join millions of Pennsylvanians today in supporting the federal court’s decision … When Rep. Stephen McCarter and I introduced the Pennsylvania Marriage Equality Act last fall, we recognized that numerous legal challenges throughout the Commonwealth had the potential to bring marriage equality much faster to the state, while our legislators sat on the sidelines. Today, a federal court in Pennsylvania has affirmed what a majority of Pennsylvanians already support: the fundamental right to marry the person they love. I’m thankful for all of the hard work that has gotten us to this point. I’m proud to live in a state where I am one step closer to being an equal citizen. And I am empowered to ensure that we continue the effort to bring equality in the form of an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination law to the Commonwealth.” Then he said this cute thing on Facebook and we all fainted.

Those are the big-namers. On Philly Mag’s news blog, reporter Joel Mathis does a nice roundup of reactions from all of us everyday folks. You can find that here.