U.S. judge strikes down Pennsylvania law barring gay marriage
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 01:40
May 21 - A federal judge strikes down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage in the latest court decision extending the rights of matrimony to gay and lesbian couples in the U.S.. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Champagne and tears at this ACLU office in Pennsylvania...
To celebrate a Tuesday decision by a federal judge...
He struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriages, calling it unconstitutional.
NATS WOMAN READS FROM COMPUTER
"By virtue of this ruling same sex couples that wish to marry in PA may do so."
In his 39-page ruling, Judge John Jones compared bans on same-sex marriage with school segregation laws.
'We are better people than what these laws represent," he wrote. "And it's time to discard them in the ash heap of history," he said.
SOUNDBITE: MARK ARONCHICK, LEAD ATTORNEY, SAYING:
"Ash heap of history, feels really good to be part of that history right now."
"We never thought marriage was in the cards for us."
Partners Christine Donato and Sandy Ferlanie were along 25 plaintiffs who sued the state.
Their court win makes Pennsylvania the 19th state to recognize same-sex marriage.
SOUNDBITE: PLAINTIFF SANDY FERLANIE SAYING:
"We wanted to do it for each other our families to make it easier for. Other LGBT's hopefully it will be a non issue after this."
But supporters of the Pennsylvania ban call Tuesday's ruling against it...brazen.
SOUNDBITE: RANDALL WENGER, PENNSYLVANIA FAMILY INSTITUTE, SAYING:
"Very disappointed. I think we all want a more loving considerate society but we don't get there through a one judge ruling that strikes down something as marriage."
Within hours of the decision, gay couples lined up at Philly's city hall to get their marriage licenses.
Most recent court decisions like the one in Pennsylvania came with a stay that maintains the status quo, pending appeal.
But Tuesday's ruling did not.
Meaning gay and lesbian couples can get married in the Keystone state effective immediately.
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