Courts may settle same-sex marriage debate before lawmakers

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Aug 13, 2013 4:00 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- Same-sex marriage is emerging as a major cultural issue in Pennsylvania, and one political analyst says he believes the courts may decide the issue before state lawmakers do.

Franklin and Marshall College political analyst Terry Madonna says each of the more than 100 same-sex marriage licenses already issued in Montgomery County represents a potential court case over marriage benefits.

"So we're going to have a myriad of court cases out there, ultimately leading to whether Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act law is upheld as constitutional or not," Madonna said on witf's Radio Smart Talk.

Corbett administration lawyers are taking the Montgomery County Register of Wills to court over his recent decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses. A recent court filing says it is county officials' duty to follow state law, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Madonna says he does not expect the Republican-controlled Legislature to authorize gay marriage anytime soon, but he does believe the US Supreme Court could strike down individual state bans.

May's Franklin and Marshall College Poll found 54 percent support for the issue among Pennsylvania voters.

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