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Pa. governor, AG seek to be dismissed from another same-sex marriage case

Monday, December 9, 2013
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PHILADELPHIA — Attorney General Kathleen Kane is seeking to be dismissed from a federal lawsuit pending in Philadelphia that challenges Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban.

Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane (left) and Gov. Tom Corbett

Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane (left) and Gov. Tom Corbett

The case involves a lesbian couple seeking to force the state to recognize their Massachusetts marriage license. Kane filed a motion Monday arguing that the plaintiffs in the case failed to show her office was involved in any violation of their rights.

Kane contends that the state departments of Health and Revenue are more involved in the issues raised by plaintiffs Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker.

Lawyers for Gov. Tom Corbett – Kane’s co-defendant in the case – previously filed a motion seeking dismissal of all claims against him, reasserting that federal courts lack jurisdiction over state marriage laws based on a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

A federal judge in Harrisburg rejected that premise last month in refusing to dismiss another gay-marriage challenge, saying the precedent has been eroded over four decades by the court’s rulings on constitutional challenges based on sex or sexual identity.

That case, the first of at least six federal and state challenges of the law, is scheduled to go to trial June 9.

Pennsylvania is the only northeastern state that bars same-sex marriage. Sixteen other states and the District of Columbia allow it.

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