What do today’s decisions by the Supreme Court mean for marriage equality in Pennsylvania? I believe this means that no one in the Commonwealth can legally deny marriage licenses to same sex couples. The sweeping decision by Justice Kennedy in DOMA says that discrimination of this sort is a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Though the decision is around the act passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton today’s action by the Court opens the door to anyone to challenge their state’s laws under United States v Windsor.
A couple rejected at their county courthouse can now file a lawsuit against that county and the Commonwealth claiming the prohibition of equal rights to marry is a violation of this DOMA decision. The cases will be litigated on a state by state basis but it’s clear no federal appeals court will be able to overturn decisions limiting equal rights.
Marriage equality in Pennsylvania will be a reality soon.