The decision in Whitewood vs. Wolf on May 20, 2014 has overturned Pennsylvania’s mini-DOMA, with no stay, and a subsequent announcement that Gov. Corbett would NOT file to appeal, suddenly throwing Pennsylvania into the ring as the 19th state in the country to permit and recognize same-sex marriages!
I will be the first to admit it, despite wholeheartedly wanting gay marriage in Pennsylvania, I honestly thought it would be years and years until it ever happened. We sat and watched as state by state court cases were overturning bans on same-sex marriages and joyfully applauded their victories while deep-down wishing it could be happen here.
I knew there were cases pending in Pennsylvania, but wasn’t really feeling like there was much progress being made. Then all of a sudden every one was talking about the request for summary judgement in Whitewood vs. Wolf, and before we knew it, we were standing on the threshold of a new horizon.
Excited about the possibilities the future now holds, excited about finally having the wedding of my dreams with the woman of my dreams, and excited about knowing that like any other married couple, that institution we will be forming together — that family we will be establishing — will be honored in all the ways that it always should have been. It’s exciting stuff, really it is.
But in the light of the joyousness, we need to remember that the fight doesn’t end here. While same-sex marriage (and divorce!) is now legal in Pennsylvania, it is sadly also the only state in the country in which a person who identifies as lesbian, gay, transgender, or bisexual can still be legally terminated from their place of employment, refused employment, refused service by businesses, and refused housing simply because of their sexual orientation.
So while this decision has opened up a world of possibilities, there are still some scary wrongs that need to be righted. I applaud the court’s decision and am so thankful to live in a state that allows and recognizes same-sex marriages, but I would be so much prouder if we could reach the point where all of us — gay, straight or otherwise — were afforded the same daily protections as well.
Congratulations on your win, Pennsylvania! Pop open some champagne, celebrate your newly afforded right to marry, have your nuptials, and then get back out there and continue the fight for equality!