HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge who overturned Pennsylvania’s law banning same-sex marriage is rejecting a bid by a county official from eastern Pennsylvania to appeal it.
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III issued his decision Wednesday on the request by Schuylkill County Orphans Court Clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney.
Her lawyers promptly said they would appeal his decision to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration was defending the law, but declined to appeal Jones’ May 20 decision to strike down the 1996 law.
“If the highest elected official in the commonwealth chooses to abide by our decision, it defies credulity that we would permit a single citizen to stand in for him to perfect an appeal,” Jones wrote in his decision.
Santai-Gaffney had asked Jones to put his decision on hold and to allow her to step in to the case to appeal it to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania was the last northeastern state to bar gay marriage. Same-sex marriage is now legal in the state of nearly 13 million.
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