Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday in a decision that legalized the practice throughout the Northeast and sent couples racing to pick up licenses.
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one couple’s teenage daughters — courageous for challenging the constitutionality of the ban passed by lawmakers in 1996.
“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history,” the judge wrote.
For richer, for poorer
The plaintiff couples share their resources and support each other financially[...]
In sickness and in health
The plaintiff couples have supported each other through illness and medical emergencies[...]
For better, for worse
The plaintiff couples have shared in life’s joys[...]
Until death do us part
The plaintiff couples demonstrate an intention to live out their lives together.
Plaintiff Maureen Hennessey and her partner of 29 years, Mary Beth McIntyre, present a powerful example. When Mary Beth was diagnosed with inoperable Stage 4 lung cancer, Maureen left her job to care for her and to help run Mary Beth’s business until her death. Towards the end of her life, Mary Beth required Maureen’s help to get out of bed and to the bathroom, and to assist in self-care and administer medications. They were married in Massachusetts after Mary Beth fell ill, but because Pennsylvania does not recognize their marriage, the line for “surviving spouse” was left blank and Mary Beth was identified as “never married” on her death certificate. Maureen was listed as the “informant.”
Wishing to have their relationships recognized for what they are in the state they call home, and by doing so to transcend the pain, uncertainty, and injustice visited by the Marriage Laws, Plaintiffs brought this suit…
…The issue we resolve today is a divisive one. Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees…we are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them to the ash heap of history.
Now that the institution of marriage is destroyed and all morality abandoned, any stats on how many people have married their dogs during the past year? 100,000? 500,000?