Pa. advocates keep eyes on key gay marriage case

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Federal court decisions to overturn bans on same-sex marriage in two conservative states may not have an immediate effect in Pennsylvania.

Rather, Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, a leading gay rights advocate, said Wednesday that the gay rights community is keeping its eyes trained on the scheduled June 9 start of a federal court trial in Harrisburg.

That high-profile case filed six months ago was the first-known challenge to a 1996 Pennsylvania law that bans recognition of same-sex marriages. About a half-dozen other cases challenging aspects of the state's ban are now pending in county, state and federal courts.

Lawyer Witold J. Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union says the case's legal team is planning on going to trial.

Every northeastern state except Pennsylvania allows gay marriage.

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Every northeastern state except Pennsylvania allows gay marriage.