PA Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

Monday May 26, 2014

One by one states are declaring the ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional.  Pennsylvania became the 19th state to follow in this trend on Tuesday May 20, 2014.

The article Judge throws out Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage, by John Bacon and Richard Wolf, explains some of the events leading up to this occurrence.  The article also points out that the impact of a state’s marriage laws go beyond just the ability to be legally united with another person.  These laws effect couples as they raise children, their health care options, taxation procedures, hospital visitation rights, and more.

The article parallels the idea that marriage is only between a man and a woman with the decision of Brown v. Board of Education that put in place the infamous “separate but equal” verdict.  We know that the ‘separate’ was upheld in the past, but the equality part of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling was not carried out.  The American Civil Liberties Union has deemed that the PA “Defense of Marriage Act and its refusal to marry lesbian and gay couples or recognize their out-of-state marriages violates the fundamental right to marry.”  These types of court rulings are being tossed into the history books and out of present day practices.

The issue of same sex marriage is an extremely heated topic, even among friends.  As a result, people have difficulty discussing it on a neighborly level, and even more so at the higher up levels of the courts.  Perhaps the key to understanding such themes, and opposing perspectives, is to put them in terms of people we know, instead of a lofty concept.


Written by Michaela Lies, writing intern at Three Rivers Community Foundation and student at Washington & Jefferson College.