Pennsylvania marriage lawsuit will proceed without trial on fast track for ruling

Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a motion for summary judgment in their federal challenge to the PA marriage ban, Whitewood v. Wolf, asking the judge to rule on the briefs alone and forgo the trial that had been scheduled for June 9. Since the state of Pennsylvania was not disputing the facts of the case - that the marriage ban harms couples and families across the state - both sides agreed that there was no reason for a trial. 

The ACLU explained today:

A trial became unnecessary after the commonwealth stated that it will not call any experts to counter the plaintiffs’ argument that there is no rational reason why lesbian and gay couples are excluded from marriage, nor does it plan to dispute the specific harms caused to the plaintiffs by the marriage ban. All legal papers in the case will be filed by May 12, meaning a ruling could come at any time after that date.

“We are pleased that this case will be moving forward quickly. Our clients have waited long enough for the state to recognize the love and commitment that these couples have for each other,” said John S. Stapleton, of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller [private firm serving as co-counsel to the ACLU].

The decision today means that the judge could rule in Whitewood v. Wolf far sooner than June. A separate federal case in Pennsylvania seeking respect for marriages legally performed in other states, Palladino v. Corbett, will face oral arguments on May 15. 

Freedom to Marry has been proud to team up with the ACLU of Pennsylvania for Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania, a public education campaign dedicated to amplifying the conversation about why marriage matters to all families in the Keystone State. Learn more here

Learn more about marriage litigation in Pennsylvania.