Lawsuit filed over Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban

The ACLU is representing 23 plaintiffs who argue that the ban violates the equal protection clause


Jillian Rayfield
July 10, 2013 1:10AM (UTC)

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriages, arguing that the law violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Washington Post reports:

The ACLU is representing 23 plaintiffs –10 gay couples, two children of one of the couples, and the surviving widow of a same-sex couple that was together for 29 years — in a lawsuit it filed Tuesday in Harrisburg, Pa. James Esseks, who directs the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project, said the group hopes to secure the right for gay couples to marry in Pennsylvania, force the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere and ratchet up the legal pressure on the Supreme Court to ultimately rule on the question of whether same-sex marriage should be legal across the nation.

"The issue is going back to the Supreme Court, it’s just a matter of time,” Esseks told Buzzfeed. “We want to add the voices of these plaintiffs to that discussion.”

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"Because of Pennsylvania's refusal to allow or recognize their marriages" the complaint says, "same-sex couples are also denied many federal protections afforded to married couples, such as the ability to take time off work to care for a sick spouse under the Family Medial Leave Act and access to a spouse's social security retirement benefits."


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Aclu Defense Of Marriage Act Gay Marriage Pennsylvania Supreme Court

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