U.S. & World

Pennsylvania gay marriage ban overturned by judge


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  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 25, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    @higv: "Marriage is a right that comes from our creator and not ours to change."

    Please cite the biblical passage that says the government shall license marriages and that provides tax benefits for married couples. You're making the common error of conflating religious marriage (not affected by these court decisions) with civil marriage, which is a separate thing and the subject of those decisions.

    @Brio: "Our condolences to Pennsylvania as the latest state to be dictated to... against the common sense will of it's [sic] people by another activist judge..."

    Definition of an "activist judge" seems to be "any judge who rules differently than you'd like him to do". This particular judge was appointed by Bush with the endorsement of Santorum. In any case, he's doing what judges are supposed to do: reviewing the law for conformity with constitutional requirements without partisan bias or consideration of his personal desires.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 22, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    @dwidenhouse 7:34 p.m. May 21, 2014

    How would you feel about an arrangement where ALL couples, gay and straight, could register a civil unior or partnership (one active union/partnership per person at any time, and meeting certain age and consanguity conditions). That would be the legal relationship which would create the rights and responsibilities currently applicable to civil marriage. Then, if the couple so chose, they could go to their religious authorities or anyone else willing to perform a marriage ceremony for them, and have that ceremony performed and witnessed (this latter ceremony would have no legal force or effect). It seems to me that this type of arrangement would resolve the concerns that some people have about the use of the term marriage for a relationship they find distasteful. What say you?

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    May 22, 2014 12:42 a.m.

    I welcome a civil conversation. I'm a believing Mormon who is also gay. Churches can and should be allowed to define sin and set rules for their rites and membership.
    The problem I have with the arguments against gay civil marriage is that they don't make any sense. The only way they would make sense is if I believed that gay people are not really gay, but actually are just confused straight people. Then it makes sense to keep them hidden and try to incentivize them to live straight. To me that is as strange as arguing that we are all right handed but some have unnatural left handed tendencies.
    I believe gay people are real. They are not straight and there is no rational, secular reason for us to make gay people hide who they are or try to act straight just like we wouldn't stigmatize left handed people or force them to fumble their whole life with their right hand. If your position is based on a belief that you understand gay people better than they understand themselves, then be prepared to have that belief questioned.

  • dwidenhouse Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 21, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    @ Laura Bilington
    I appreciate you responding to my post. However, my purpose was not to ridicule your beliefs. I was merely showing that if you put down someone's belief, you are doing the same thing that you claim we "anti's" are doing. By counting the "anti's" beliefs as irrelevant you step into our "supposed" realm of claiming that someone's partner, or life choice, or personality traits are irrelevant. Mutual respect is needed in these discussions. I accept that you, and many others, believe what you believe. I believe differently. Now, rather than shouting that the other side is wrong, perhaps both sides (and I mean BOTH) should have a more civil conversation and try to understand one another rather than bash each other. I know that people on both sides have been insensitive, crude, and hurtful. Additionally, both sides have been hurt, demeaned, and degraded. Now is not the time to continue such traditions. Now is the time for civility. Unfortunately, by writing this I will unleash upon myself a slew of comments regarding our incivility by banning same-sex marriage. However, we must continue to try for civility . . . please.

  • Northern Utahn Northern, UT
    May 21, 2014 5:00 p.m.

    @Laura Bilington

    Amendment 3, in Utah, only passed without about 37% of registered voters' support. Support for same-sex marriage is at over 50% in Utah, today. People supporting civil unions is at over 70% in Utah, today. Of undecided people in Utah, in the last 8 months, 7 have decided they support same-sex marriage legalization for each 1 that went against same sex-marriage. 7 to 1. Amendment 3 could never pass in Utah today. Thankfully, this is coming to a swift close. Good riddance. To the Utah State Government: stop spending my money to hurt people of whom you don't approve. Fortunately the upcoming generation (the one we keep getting told are the most valiant) support the right to agency, and same-sex marriage at a rate of nearly 85%. Hooray for agency!

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 21, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    Brio, skip your condolences. Even if the lawsuit against the PA marriage ban had never been filed, the anti-SSM law was doomed. A March Quinnipiac University poll of Pennsylvania voters, 57% of respondents said they supported a law allowing same-sex couples to marry, while 37% opposed it. I'm betting that even Utah voters wouldn't pass an anti-SSM law if it were on the ballot this year.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 21, 2014 4:06 p.m.

    @higv, you stated "Why are they making it public. Marriage is a right that comes from our creator and not ours to change."

    I am assuming you have "made it public" that you are heterosexual, right?

    If marriage "is a right that comes from our creator", then why does the state charge you a license fee to marry? You are not charged fees for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 21, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    @dwidenhouse, you have some stuff correct and some not so:

    "Love is love no matter who it is." A truism. More specifically, don't denigrate someone's choice of a life partner if they are, in your book--eligible to be one--except for being the same sex. That means of legal age, not married, not already related.

    "Government shouldn't legislate morality". Someone's idea of "morality"--or someone's church's idea of morality--shouldn't be the business of government. There are sound reasons to forbid assault, lying, and theft which have no connection with the commandments that Christians believe were given to Moses. There are no sound reasons to legislate against homosexuality or homosexual sex. There's also a SCOTUS decision forbidding such legislation.

    "It doesn't affect homosexual marriage". What doesn't?

    "Discrimination hurts families." No argument there. Discrimination against Mormon families or gay families (including gay Mormon families) all hurt families.

    "Anyone who discriminates is a bigot." Anyone who discriminates because their church told them that gays were an abomination is a bigot.

    "Homosexuals are families, too." That's like saying that heterosexuals are families. Some are. Some are single. And your point is..?

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    May 21, 2014 3:12 p.m.

    @ A Scientist:

    The liberal-progressive arguments are so predictable... and so irrelevant and impotent.

    Our condolences to Pennsylvania as the latest state to be dictated to... against the common sense will of it's people by another activist judge to step forward. Sad. Very sad.

  • dwidenhouse Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 21, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    In my previous post, I meant "something you are claiming that we "anti's" are doing." I apologize for the typos.

  • dwidenhouse Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 21, 2014 2:42 p.m.

    Dear Pro's
    Before you get started - we've already heard these assertions:
    1. Love is love no matter who it is.
    2. Government shouldn't legislate morality
    3. It doesn't affect homosexual marriage
    4. Discrimination hurts families.
    5. Anyone who discriminates is a bigot.
    6. Homosexuals are families, too.

    This stuff isn't relevant. And you've made your points already.

    When you make a point that something isn't relevant, remember that you are claiming that what people believe isn't irrelevant, something you are claiming that we "pro's" are doing. Everyone, when pressed, is backed up against their own beliefs and judgments. Don't disregard them simply because you don't believe them.

  • Concinnity Richfield, UT
    May 21, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    @ Stormwalker:

    What good does voting in a democracy do? Democracy and "the will of the people" actually stood for something important in our country during it's first two centuries.

    But now that previously important concept has been made entirely irrelevant. Small minority groups can always prevail over the will of the majority with the siding of just a single activist judge in their pocket. Others eventually jump on the bandwagon when it becomes viewed as the politically correct "flavor of the month" concept.

    Other than just voting for people, whatever else the majority of voters in a democratic society wants now means absolutely nothing. A single person with the siding of an single judge now can rule the roost and make the overall will of the people subservient to them.

    And don't ever let the Constitution get it the way. It can always be interpreted differently by some judge somewhere. And if not, then just claim the Constitution was meant to be a "living document" that should change with the times. I've heard that liberal progressive argument more than once... whenever it's convenient to their current cause.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    May 21, 2014 2:22 p.m.

    @Concinnity wrote: "Those points may be irrelevant to you, but not to objective observers."

    Are there any objective arguments that don't depend on appeals to religion, appeals to tradition, or debunked research?

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    May 21, 2014 2:20 p.m.


    Gov. Corbett has decided he won't appeal the ruling, he finally gets it, hopefully you will get it someday.

  • Concinnity Richfield, UT
    May 21, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    @ Laura Bilington and UteFan60:

    Those points may be irrelevant to you, but not to objective observers. It was noticeable that you offered no relevant retort to any of those anti-SSM points. None whatsoever.

    It's funny in a sad sort of way how liberal activists refuse to listen to anyone except those who completely agree with them. It's that old "tolerate us" but don't expect any in return philosophy... because anyone who doesn't agree with us is just a bigot.

    And so the downward spiral continues...

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    May 21, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    This just in: Pennsylvania's governor will *not* appeal the ruling! Pennsylvania is now a permanent member of the marriage equality club.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 21, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    @Stormwalker 11:30 a.m. May 21, 2014

    You're lucky you got to visit your partner at all. I provided pro bono legal representation for PWAs in the 1980s and 1990s. I know a number of occasions when, after I had prepared documents providing that my client's partner was the ONLY person authorized to make medical decisions for him and the documents had been properly executed, notarized and recorded, my client's family instruted the medical providers to disregard my client's directive and to allow the family members to make all the decisions (including banning my client's partner from visiting and being present at passing). The medical providers complied with the family's instructions, denying my client the right to make his own end-of-life decisions and have his wishes followed. You, at least, had some opportunity to visit with your loved one. Compared to what I saw then, you were lucky to have that opportunity.

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    @Utes Fans...Isn't your entire post lyrics from a heavy metal song? Most definitely sounds like it is. May I ask what it has to do with equality for all?

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    May 21, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    @higv: "Marriage is a right that comes from our creator and not ours to change."

    Years ago my partner collapsed. Rushed to the ER. The diagnosis doesn't matter here, but he was expected to live less than two months. For three days his family was great. Then, without explanation his sister excluded me from all care decisions, tried to ban me from visiting. I was advised to come only when family was not there. I had no legal recourse.

    Many years ago I was married. My wife had a chronic medical issue. We we went through a long, friendly divorce. We were living apart but still legally married for almost 6 months, with no legal separation, when she went in the hospital. Someone had to make medical decisions. I could have very easily overridden the family and excluded them because we had a marriage license.

    You might believe that marriage comes from God. But there are about 1200 rules, laws, regulations, benefits, and protections that come from the state and federal government.

    That is what same-sex marriage is all about.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    May 21, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    @higv wrote: "People are protected with the law and in cases of employment and obtaining things regardless of what they do in there bedroom. Why are they making it public."

    A list of states where a person can be fired for being gay:

    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    South Carolina
    South Dakota
    West Virginia

    (Full disclosure: In many of these states there are individual counties and cities that do have protections against LGBT discrimination.)

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    May 21, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    I ask you Amerikans can it get any better?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    May 21, 2014 6:28 a.m.

    @stormwalker what about the tyranny of the minority, don't get there way at the ballot box so find something in the constitution that is not there to overturn what people what. People are protected with the law and in cases of employment and obtaining things regardless of what they do in there bedroom. Why are they making it public. Marriage is a right that comes from our creator and not ours to change.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 21, 2014 4:57 a.m.

    The religionists arguments are so predictable... and so irrelevant and impotent.

    Congratulations, Pennsylvania and the City of Brotherly love!

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2014 10:22 p.m.

    ...and (Satan) had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced

    Moses 7:26

  • omahahusker Modesto, CA
    May 20, 2014 10:00 p.m.

    And we live by the rule of the judges. The crusade against the traditional god fearing Christen family is in full swing. One day the God in heaven will look down upon the earth and say enough is enough, or he will start it very gradually, and the liberals will call it "Global Warming", Climate Change", Climate disturbance etc.!!! Like frogs in the gradually warming pot of water, feels good at first, sometime it will be too late to jump out and then you'll understand the judgements!

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    May 20, 2014 9:54 p.m.


    What is the sense of having a Constitution if we're going to ignore it when we want to get our way.

    The vote is about the power of the mob. The Constitution is about the law, and protecting the right of minorities against the will go the majority.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2014 9:46 p.m.

    Laura Bilington, Thanks you so much for your comment. It could not have been said better. It won't change those people, but it will change the direction of the arguments which it already has here in Utah.

    Thank - you!

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 20, 2014 8:42 p.m.

    We can be as dumb as we want. there's no law ageist it. But I there should be for public officials.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    May 20, 2014 8:35 p.m.

    What sense is there voting if something is going to be overturned. Marriage is not mans to change and those judges who were all wrong every one of them will have to answer to a higher judge.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 20, 2014 5:59 p.m.


  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    May 20, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    The United States is a country far from perfect. However, IMHO because we as a nation have the capacity to reflect and self examine our laws, mores, and who we are we become better. These rulings by the courts are a sample of that and an example to the rest of the world.

    Congratulations Pennsylvania!!!!

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 20, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    This ruling is the most significant one so far, because it employs "heightened scrutiny" instead of the "rational basis" review that is more deferential to the State. That will make it very difficult for any of these Gay Marriage bans to survive.

    From the ruling:
    “Indeed, it is unsurprising that Defendants muster no argument engaging the strictures of heightened scrutiny, as we, too, are unable to fathom an ingenuous defense saving the Marriage Laws from being invalidated under this more searching standard.”

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 20, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    Dear Anti-s: Before you get started---we've already heard these assertions:

    1. No woman can be a husband and no man can be a wife.

    2. Why can't I marry my (sister, dog, brother, car, etc)?

    3. The Bible says, (Insert your scriptural reference here).

    4. A heterosexual couple provides the best environment for a child.

    5. Comments about biology, procreation, etc.

    6. References to "thousands of years", "end times", "activist judges", "God's Kingdom" "redefining marriage".

    This stuff isn't relevant. And you've made your points already.

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    May 20, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    Since last year, I am still waiting for a court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage ban, and apparently SSM opponents could not get that from courts in NJ, NM, OH, UT, OK, KY, VA, TX, TN, MI, IN, AR, ID, OR, PA, not to mention they already failed in the courts of MA, CT, CA and IA in the past.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 20, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    With liberty and justice for all.

    Someday soon.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    May 20, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    Judge John E. Jones III was nominated by George W. Bush, upon recommendation of Sen. Rick Santorum.

    Just to nip the "maverick liberal judge" accusations in the bud.