“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”Activist judge? Obama appointee drunk with power? Think again. Judge Jones was recommended by ultra-conservative, former Republican Senator, Rick Santorum, and was appointed by George W. Bush. Judge Jones was also the judge in the famous evolution case whose order barred the Dover Area School District from teaching Intelligent Design, calling it: “a mere re-labeling of creationism” in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. The ruling is effective immediately. Same sex marriage bans have been falling around the country this year since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act sometimes called DOMA. Pennsylvania is now the 19th state to legalize gay marriage and 43 percent of Americans now live in a state with full marriage equality, according to the advocacy group Freedom to Marry. Also this week, Oregon became the 18th state to recognize same-sex marriage on Monday. Couples began applying for marriage licenses immediately after a federal court invalidated its voter-approved same-sex marriage ban. And finally this week, Utah ordered state officials to recognize more than 1,000 gay marriages which took place in Utah during the two-week period before the U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex weddings with an emergency stay. The Pennsylvania memorandum opinion can be read here.
Same sex/GLBTA on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. I’ve written about Florida same sex couples who marry legally, but can’t divorce here. Florida is one of a dwindling number of states outlawing same sex marriage. Last week, two other states’ bans fell. U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III in Pennsylvania called the plaintiffs courageous for challenging the constitutionality of the state ban writing: