Pennsylvania will not appeal same-sex marriage ruling, governor says

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania Wed May 21, 2014 5:16pm EDT

Mike Woods, 28, and Brandon Parsons, 30, embrace on the Pennsylvania State Capital steps following a rally with gay rights supporters after a ruling struck down a ban on same sex marriage in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, May 20, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Makela

Mike Woods, 28, and Brandon Parsons, 30, embrace on the Pennsylvania State Capital steps following a rally with gay rights supporters after a ruling struck down a ban on same sex marriage in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, May 20, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Makela

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - The governor of Pennsylvania said on Wednesday the state will not appeal a judge's ruling allowing same-sex marriage in the state.

The decision by Governor Tom Corbett, a conservative Republican, will allow Pennsylvania to become the 19th U.S. state to extend the rights of matrimony to gay and lesbian couples.

Corbett said in a statement that an appeal of the ruling handed down on Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III was "extremely unlikely to succeed."

"Therefore, after review of the opinion and on the advice of my Commonwealth legal team, I have decided not to appeal Judge Jones' decision," he said in a statement.

He added that while he continued to oppose gay marriage, "the court has spoken."

His decision will allow the nuptials of gay couples such as Lisa Wagner, 32, and Lindsey Trace, 30, of Shippensburg to proceed.

"We're making history," Wagner said as the couple waited in the early morning hours outside the Dauphin County courthouse to apply for a marriage license.

"It's something we can tell our children and grandchildren," she said. "Not many people can say that."

Corbett, who faces deep dissatisfaction within his own party, is in a tough bid for re-election.

In the November general election, he will face businessman and former Peace Corps volunteer Tom Wolf, a progressive Democrat who backed efforts to repeal the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Public opinion polls show a majority of Democrats and independents in Pennsylvania support same-sex marriage but only about a third of state Republicans do so.

Corbett was campaigning in western Pennsylvania on Wednesday

with conservative Texas Governor Rick Perry, another gay marriage opponent.

(This version of the story fixes the word in the first paragraph to appeal, not repeal.)

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Andrew Hay)

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Comments (5)
Your lead paragraph contains the word “repeal” where you obviously mean “appeal.”

May 21, 2014 4:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
licketysplit9 wrote:
I’m sure his team’s advice has NOTHING to do with the impending election…

May 21, 2014 4:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:
GOP platform: “We re-affirm that a marriage is a bond between one man and one woman.”

Great. Except that it’s untrue in 19 states now and counting. Will they ever change their official position? Their choice :)

Meanwhile, the GOP has lost 60% of their market share among voters 18-40 (the next 2 generations of voters) because they actively support discriminatory bans like the ones that keep getting shot down. Not a single ban has prevailed upon a legal examination and hearing of it. So cling if you must, GOP. It’s your future.

May 21, 2014 4:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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