The movement for marriage equality made significant headway in Pennsylvania this week, when the Honorable John E. Jones, issued an opinion striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage for constitutional reasons. The federal lawsuit brought by 11 gay and lesbian couples, one widow and two teenage children of a same-sex couple was originally filed last year. The plaintiffs in Deb Whitewood, et al. v. Michael Wolf, et al. argued that provisions of Pennsylvania’s Domestic Relations Code were unconstitutional because the laws prohibited same-sex marriages and refused to recognize same-sex couples who were legally married in other jurisdictions. Adopting the rationale utilized by 12 other federal district courts, Judge Jones found that the principles of equality, deeply embedded in the U.S. Constitution demanded that all couples have equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage.

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