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Hope for Harrisburg?

Will Same Sex Marriage Be Legalized in Pennsylvania?

Now that it’s legal in San Francisco and New York, the question being asked around all of America’s states, is will same sex marriages be happening everywhere? The political word on the street is a resounding no, pretty much since the General Assembly is controlled by Republicans. As well, according to an article in Penn Live, Penn’s own Gov. Tom Corbett “would almost certainly veto the legislation even if it reached his desk.”  It’s certainly no great secret that the Governor is against gay marriage.

In practical terms, given that marriage is codified as “the exclusive province of a man and a woman” through state and federal law, there is a greater chance that forces out of the Keystone State will decide the issue “here and nationwide before state legislators act definitively.”

Further, there could be  a case in which the Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act is challenged with a new, legalized NY marriage.  But even if this doesn’t happen, it is most likely that the US Supreme Act will decide on the issue for good.  According to senior legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, Austin R. Nimocks, “there are at least 10 active cases in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.”

The truth is, gay rights are not new to Pennsylvania since there are many bills introduced that affect gay rights.  But, according to this article, “because both sides vigilantly oppose any legislation that undermines their position, gay marriage appears to be an issue deadlocked in the Legislature.”

Ultimately though, it seems there aren’t so many “state laws targeting gay residents,” which have been described here as “relics reminiscent of the Jim Crow south.”


So it remains to be seen what will be for us Harrisburg residents, but it doesn’t seem like we’re in such a rush to follow New York’s lead.