Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down In Pennsylvania

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Corbett’s office was left to defend the law after Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane refused to do so. A spokesman for Corbett’s office said it was reviewing the opinion. The Pennsylvania lawsuit, filed July 9, was the first known challenge to the state ban.

At least five later test cases emerged, including one over a suburban county’s decision last year to issue 174 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, before a court shut them down. Officials in Montgomery County were trying Tuesday to have that order lifted. Oregon became the 18th state to recognize same-sex marriage on Monday, when couples began applying for marriage licenses immediately after a federal judge invalidated its voter-approved ban.

Also Monday, a federal judge in Utah ordered state officials to recognize more than 1,000 gay marriages that took place in the state over a two-week period before the U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex weddings with an emergency stay.

And later Tuesday, a federal appeals court ruled that no same-sex marriages will be allowed or recognized in Idaho until an appeal to a ruling May 13 overturning that state’s ban is decided. Jones, a Republican and an appointee of former President George W. Bush, was previously known for a 2005 decision in which he barred a Pennsylvania school district from teaching intelligent design in biology class, saying it was “a mere re-labeling of creationism.”

The torrent of celebration from Democrats and supporters Tuesday was met by criticism from state Republicans, who as recently as 2012 endorsed a platform defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

“An activist judiciary has substituted its judgment in place of the law created by the elected representatives of Pennsylvania,” Chairman Rob Gleason said, “and has stifled the ongoing debate of people with differing points of view.”

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