As expected, the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act on June 16 has led to a string of action in states that currently have bans on same-sex marriages. One of those states is Pennsylvania. CNN reports on July 9 that the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in the state of Pennsylvania challenging the stat’s ban on same-sex marriages and most importantly its refusal to recognize couples who are legally married in states where same-sex marriage is legal.
According to a statement released by ACLU, “the Pennsylvania lawsuit alleges that the state’s Defense of Marriage Act and refusal to marry lesbian and gay couples or recognize their out-of-state marriage violates the fundamental right to marry, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The group states that they have 23 plaintiffs in the lawsuit to challenge Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act which currently defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The ACLU believes the law only serves “to insult and hurt lesbian and gay couples and their families.”
Like on the federal level, the ACLU hopes for a ruling that Pennsylvania’s marriage law is unconstitutional which will lead the way for same-sex couples in the state to obtain the freedom to marry.
Pennsylvania is one of at least 20 states that the group is hoping to achieve marriage equality through litigation, lobbying and ballot campaigns. Other states where the ACLU have filed existing lawsuits include Virginia and North Carolina.
If the lawsuit is victorious, Pennsylvania will become the 14th state to legalize gay marriage.