BuzzFeed reports that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett will not be appealing Tuesday’s ruling bringing marriage equality to the Keystone State:
“I have thoroughly reviewed Judge Jones’ opinion in theWhitewood case,” Corbett said in a statement Wednesday. “Given the high legal threshold set forth by Judge Jones in this case, the case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal. Therefore, after review of the opinion and on the advice of my Commonwealth legal team, I have decided not to appeal Judge Jones’ decision.Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, refused to defend the ban because she viewed it as unconstitutional, leaving Corbett, a Republican, to defend the state’s 1996 statute banning same-sex couples from marrying and barring the state from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples from elsewhere without support from the AG’s office. He did so at the trial court, but, following Tuesday’s opinion from Jones striking down the law, he has decided not to take his defense further.
The Rt. Rev. Sean W. Rowe, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Bishop Provisional of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, released the following statement on Judge John E. Jones III’s ruling that Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional:
“Today is a joyful day for Pennsylvanians who believe as I do that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in our state. These couples work hard, raise children, volunteer for good causes and pay taxes. Pennsylvania would be poorer without them, and I am pleased that Judge John E. Jones III has moved them one significant step closer to equality under the law.”The Episcopal Church has struggled faithfully with the issue of same-sex relationships for more than three decades, and in that struggle most of us have come to understand that same-sex couples and their families are blessings to their communities and to their neighbors and friends. Like opposite-sex couples, their love draws them more clearly into fidelity to one another and service to the world. Like opposite sex couples, they are signs and sacraments allowing us to see the boundless love of God more clearly.
“I am aware that faithful Episcopalians in the Dioceses of Bethlehem and Northwestern Pennsylvania disagree with me on this issue. I want to assure them that our dioceses will remain places where people of good conscience can differ charitably and remain united in the hope and healing of Jesus Christ.
“After reflection and consultation, I will write to both dioceses with guidance for clergy who want to officiate at same-sex marriages. For today, I am grateful to live in a state that has taken a step toward justice.”
Thanks to ‘Episcopal Cafe’ for this news of the removal of a ban on same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. The Attorney-General, Kathleen Kane, refused to uphold the ban, which had been struck down by Judge Jones. The Republican Governor, Tom Corbett, recognising the authority of the judge in this instance, has decided not to contest the ruling.
The local Episcopal Bishop in North-Western Pennsylvania, +Shaun W. Rowe, has welcomed the new initiative, which now allows for the marriage of same sex couples within his jurisdiction – on the grounds of the U.S. Episcopal Church’s three-year campaign to bring justice to same-sex couples.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand