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May 21, 2014

Chancellor Praises U.S. District Court Ruling Striking Down Pennsylvania’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Urges No Appeal of Landmark Decision

William P. Fedullo, Chancellor of the 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association, today called the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania's May 20 ruling striking down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage a decision that "brings Pennsylvania into the 21st century." The Chancellor urged the Corbett administration not to appeal the ruling "so that those who have suffered from inequality under the law can at long last enjoy the full protections that the Constitution guarantees."

"We are finally joining our brother and sister states of Delaware, New York and New Jersey in recognizing the fundamental right to marry, so that lesbian and gay couples and their families will rightfully receive the many legal and financial protections afforded to heterosexual couples," Fedullo said, referencing U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III's 39-page opinion in Whitewood v. Wolf.

"As the Pennsylvania Constitution provides, all people have the right to pursue their own happiness," Fedullo added.

The Chancellor referenced a resolution unanimously adopted by the Philadelphia Bar Association's Board of Governors in January endorsing marriage equality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and supporting legislation that would afford same-sex couples the freedom to be married within the state. It followed a similar resolution adopted by the Board of Governors in 2006 opposing any constitutional amendment that would prohibit the state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or substantially equivalent to that of marriage.

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