Same Sex Marriage

Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States addressed two cases involving gay marriage. The Court struck the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That means that married couples are entitled to federal recognition of the marriage, as long as their marriage was lawful under state law. Since some states allow same-sex marriage, recognition may result in benefits to the spouses of federal employees and other potential benefits.

The United States Supreme Court also struck down a California law that barred gay marriage. The reason was a procedural one. Neither the California governor nor its attorney general entered the lawsuit to fight for the constitutionality of the bar.

In Pennsylvania, marriage is defined as a civil contract by which one man and one woman take each other for husband and wife. Another statute specifically states as follows:

“It is hereby declared to be the strong and longstanding public policy of this Commonwealth that marriage shall be between one man and one woman. A marriage between persons of the same sex which was entered into in another state or foreign jurisdiction, even if valid where entered into, shall be void in this Commonwealth.”

These Pennsylvania statutes are being challenged presently. Attorney General Kane has stated that she believes these statutes are unconstitutional and will not argue otherwise. The Governor may still enter to fight for these laws.

The Seach Law Offices represent people in family law matters, and you can call for a consultation at (570) 359-3283.