District Court Judge John E. Jones, III in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf, declared the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional yesterday
In the ruling, Judge Jones wrote, “
We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”
The ACLU of Pennsylvania, on behalf of 21 Pennsylvanians seeking the right to marry or have their out-of-state marriages, recognized filed the case
Pittsburgh area officials are celebrating the news.
“I am overjoyed by the judge’s decision today, and can’t wait to throw open the doors of the Mayor’s Office to honor marriages of all couples,” Mayor Bill Peduto said in a statement released yesterday. “I would be thrilled to make the marriage of an LGBT couple the first one I officiate as Mayor.”
The mayor has been an active advocate for marriage equality since the aughts when he helped create Pittsburgh’s Domestic Partner Law, which was designed to allow same-sex couples share health benefits.
"As a long time supporter of marriage equality, I am thrilled to finally be able to celebrate this victory with supporters across the state," said Councilman Dan Gilman. "But more importantly, the decision to declare the ban on marriage equality unconstitutional in Pennsylvania contributes to our city's shared vision for a better and brighter—a Pittsburgh that embraces love, equality, and diversity."
Those who are interested can register for a marriage license in Allegheny County here
. There is a three-day waiting period, which is the standard waiting period in Pennsylvania. For more information, you can read about the process here
“For these couples, the judge’s decision will open the door to all of the rights and obligations of marriage that different-sex couples take for granted, from filing joint tax returns to transferring property from one spouse to another tax free to the ability to inherit without a will,” says Anthony Infanti, senior associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law at University of Pittsburgh School of Law