Today, lawyers representing the plaintiffs challenging Pennsylvania’s marriage ban in Whitewood v. Wolf filed a motion asking a federal judge to decide the case on the briefs alone, rather than waiting for a trial in June.
This means that a judge could rule on the future of the freedom to marry in the Commonwealth as early as next month!
The lawsuit is brought on behalf of one window, 11 couples who wish to marry, or want the commonwealth to recognize their out-of-state marriages, and two teenage children of one of the plaintiff couples. They are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the American Civil Liberties Union, volunteer counsel from the law firm Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, and University of Pennsylvania School of Law Professor Seth Kreimer.
According to a press release by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania:
“A trial became unnecessary after the commonwealth stated that it will not call any experts to counter the plaintiffs’ argument that there is no rational reason why lesbian and gay couples are excluded from marriage, nor does it plan to dispute the specific harms caused to the plaintiffs by the marriage ban. All legal papers in the case will be filed by May 12, meaning a ruling could come at any time after that date.”
Additionally, the lawyers also submitted written testimony to the presiding judge on the hardships same-sex couples face in estate planning, taxes, health care, and family law, as well as an expert report on the economic harms to the state caused by Pennsylvania’s marriage ban.
Pennsylvania, which has agreed that the case does not need to go to a trial and will not dispute the facts—that denial of marriage harms same-sex couples and their families—will also file a summary judgment today.
Now that this case is on the fast-track, we want to show the judge and the people of Pennsylvania that we have the plaintiffs’ backs—and that Pennsylvania is ready for marriage!