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Pennsylvania couple files federal same-sex marriage lawsuit

A same-sex couple on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania [official website] to receive recognition by the state of their marriage license, which was issued by the state of Massachusetts in 2005. After Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker were legally married in Massachusetts, they moved to Pennsylvania, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, even if the marriage was legally performed in another state. The couple claims that the state's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional [AP report], and names Governor Tom Corbett and Attorney General Kathleen Kane [official websites] as defendants.

This lawsuit comes only one day after 21 same-sex couples filed suit [JURIST report] asking the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court [official website] to affirm the legality of their marriage licenses, which were issued by a county clerk [JURIST report] who believed the state's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. Earlier this month Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini ordered the Montgomery County Register of Wills [official website] court clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, finding that the clerk could not disregard the Pennsylvania Marriage Law [text] simply because he believed it to be unconstitutional. Hanes began issuing licenses to same-sex couples after Kane said the law was unconstitutional under the US Supreme Court holding in United States v. Windsor [JURIST reports]. Thursday's lawsuit brings the tally up to at least four same-sex marriage suits that are now pending in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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