Will Not Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, Governor Says
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[May 22, 2014]
By David DeKok
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - The
governor of Pennsylvania said on Wednesday the state will not appeal a
judge's ruling allowing same-sex marriage in the state.
The decision by Governor Tom Corbett, a conservative Republican,
will allow Pennsylvania to become the 19th U.S. state to extend the
rights of matrimony to gay and lesbian couples.
Corbett said in a statement that an appeal of the ruling handed down
on Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III was
"extremely unlikely to succeed."
"Therefore, after review of the opinion and on the advice of my
Commonwealth legal team, I have decided not to appeal Judge Jones'
decision," he said in a statement.
He added that while he continued to oppose gay marriage, "the court
His decision will allow the nuptials of gay couples such as Lisa
Wagner, 32, and Lindsey Trace, 30, of Shippensburg to proceed.
"We're making history," Wagner said as the couple waited in the
early morning hours outside the Dauphin County courthouse to apply
for a marriage license.
"It's something we can tell our children and grandchildren," she
said. "Not many people can say that."
Corbett, who faces deep dissatisfaction within his own party, is in
a tough bid for re-election.
In the November general election, he will face businessman and
former Peace Corps volunteer Tom Wolf, a progressive Democrat who
backed efforts to repeal the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
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Public opinion polls show a majority of Democrats and independents
in Pennsylvania support same-sex marriage but only about a third of
state Republicans do so.
Corbett was campaigning in western Pennsylvania on Wednesday
with conservative Texas Governor Rick Perry, another gay marriage
(This version of the story fixes the word in the first paragraph to
appeal, not repeal.)
(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Andrew Hay)
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