The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 10, 2013

Lawsuit: Pa. must OK gay marriage

SUNBURY — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of 21 state residents who wish to marry in Pennsylvania or want the commonwealth to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

The lawsuit alleges that Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act and refusal to marry lesbian and gay couples or recognize their out-of-state marriages violates the fundamental right to marry as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Pennsylvania is the only Northeastern state that doesn’t allow gay marriage or civil unions.

Bill McCoy, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender office at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, said he was encouraged that the conversation regarding marriage equality was moving forward in Pennsylvania.

“This suit,” he said, “is essential in raising awareness around inequities in financial and social support afforded to the different types of couples within the state. While marriage equity will not address all of the needs of the LGBT community in Pennsylvania, it is an important step toward supporting all families equally in the eyes of the law.”

It is an uphill battle, McCoy said. “Pennsylvania needs to reconcile that it will not attract or retain talent if it continues to disenfranchise LGBT people while its neighbors move toward equality.”

This lawsuit comes in the wake of the ACLU’s victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor, which requires federal recognition for lesbian and gay couples who are married in their home states.

The Pennsylvania plaintiffs argue that the court should closely scrutinize this discriminatory treatment because the state’s DOMA burdens the fundamental right to marry and because it discriminates based on sex and sexual orientation.

The question of legalizing same sex marriage elicited a large response on The Daily Item Facebook page.

Katie Snyder, of Danville, said, “The government has no place telling us who we can and cannot wed.”

And Lindsay Lapp, of Bloomsburg, added, “...of course it should be legalized. Love is love; people are people; everyone deserves equal rights and protection under the law. The end.”

Taking another view on Facebook was Cyndi Clayton, who did not provide a hometown.

“I am not radical,” she said. “Marriage is meant for a man and a woman. I have gay friends and family, but I don’t agree with legalizing gay marriage.”

Same-sex marriage is legal, or soon will be, in 13 states and the District of Columbia, representing about 30 percent of the U.S. population. Every state except Pennsylvania in the Northeastern United States allows same-sex marriage except New Jersey, which allows civil unions.

A 1996 Pennsylvania law defines marriage as a civil contract in which a man and a woman take each other as husband and wife, and it says same-sex marriages, even if entered legally elsewhere, are void in Pennsylvania. State law does not allow civil unions.

In Pennsylvania, recent polls show a majority are in favor of gay marriage.

1
Text Only
News
  • Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'

    STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • 400-pound bull on the lam

    State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

    July 23, 2014

  • Complainer: Cars whiz by, and drivers take whiz

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike has asked state police to increase patrols near an area of the toll road where a woman says she can see motorists exposing and relieving themselves near her backyard.

    July 23, 2014

  • spider24online.jpg Arachnid alert!

    We came across this spider brunching on another today near the American Legion post in Herndon. We aren't sure what type of spiders they are. Particularly the one with the full stomach. Do you?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: Experts showing the way for reform

    Domestic abuse remains one of the most prevalent crimes nationally yet remains routinely unreported.

    July 23, 2014

  • Feds ship 500 children to Pennsylvania

    HARRISBURG — An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the southern U.S. border is spilling into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Hope Lewis Inmate's widow wants $750,000 from Northumberland County

    SUNBURY — The widow of a Shamokin man who hanged himself inside Northumberland County Prison is demanding $750,000, the firing of all jail employees who worked the night of June 16 and a complete overhaul of policies and procedures for suicidal inmates.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vancliff Lifer gets more time for molesting Danville girls

    WILKES-BARRE — A convicted murderer accused of having persuaded a former Danville woman to bring two girls to visit him in a northeastern Pennsylvania prison so he could molest them has been sentenced to additional prison time and fined.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Union County driver, 86, dies near Weikert

    WEIKERT — An 86-year-old Weikert man died in a one-car accident Tuesday morning, when he lost control of his vehicle on Weikert Road in front of the Union County Sportsman’s Club, veered off the road and slammed into a tree.

    July 22, 2014

  • Director hired for Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area

    BURNSIDE — An Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area committee member with experience in the ATV industry was named the operations director of the park during Monday night’s authority meeting.

    July 22, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.