Same-Sex Marriage

Attorneys for Pennsylvania's Republican governor say marriage licenses given to same-sex couples in the state are invalid because the couples were barred from marrying — just like "12-year-olds."

Gov. Tom Corbett's administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to block same-sex marriage licenses in Montgomery County.

State attorneys say in a Wednesday court filing the licenses have no "legitimacy." They compare gay and lesbian couples to children, who can't marry because a 1996 law says marriage is between a man and a woman.

John Kandray and Bill Gray of Pittsburgh have been together for 11 years and were one of several same-sex couples to obtain a marriage license from Montgomery County.

On Monday night the two were wed in a ceremony officiated by Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. But a state law is in place that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

“I’m urging Gov. Tom Corbett to tear down this law and replace it with marriage equality for all Pennsylvanians,” Fetterman said. “The law just has no place in 2013.”

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Two weeks after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned key provisions in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The 23 plaintiffs, including 10 same-sex couples, one widow, and two teenage children of one of the couples, say they've seen firsthand the inequality of PA law in its discrimination against same-sex couples. 

ACLU Staff Attorney Molly Tack-Hooper and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, Anthony Infanti, weigh in on the legality of the lawsuit and the path for equality in Pennsylvania paved by the repeal of DOMA.

Tim Lambert / WITF

In the wake of Governor Corbett’s budget signing and the Supreme Court’s overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act, John Micek Opinions Editor of the Harrisburg Patriot-News explains the many pressing issues at the state level. 

Mary Wilson / 90.5 WESA

The American Civil Liberties Union is filing a federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania to make the state recognize gay couples.

The suit comes two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on gay marriage but left state prohibitions intact. Lawyers say this is the first federal case since to be filed challenging a state's gay marriage law.

John Colombo / Facebook

Yesterday, Pittsburghers were ready to rally and/or riot Downtown in reaction the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.  The gathering turned to celebration with the announcement that DOMA had been struck down. But it may be a while before we see what the decision will mean for the future of gay marriage in Pennsylvania.

Matt Bartko of Wilkinsburg recently had audiences cheering at Pridefest when he received a surprise marriage proposal from his long time partner, Maddy Landi. Bartko credited the national discussion on gay marriage for pushing his new fiance to finally pop the question.

"It got him thinking about whether or not he wanted to spend his life with me" Bartko said.

Same-Sex Marriage Argued Before Supreme Court

Mar 25, 2013
Mark Fischer / Flickr

Two cases regarding same-sex marriage are being argued before the US Supreme Court this week. The futures of the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8 will be decided in June. University of Pittsburgh Law School Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Anthony C. Infanti weighs in on the arguments. And we'll talk about the potential impact on same sex partnerships in PA with Gary Van Horn, Board President of the Delta Foundation, sponsors of Pittsburgh Pride.