Philly couple asks for marriage ruling
by Angela Thomas
Jan 16, 2014 | 1036 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A same-sex couple who filed a federal lawsuit to have their legal marriage recognized in Pennsylvania asked the court last week to strike down the state ban on same-sex marriage immediately.

Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker filed a motion for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Jan. 13.

The couple filed the suit Sept. 26, calling on the court to find Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage, specifically the provision that prevents the state from recognizing valid same-sex marriages performed in other states, to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The pair was legally married in Massachusetts in 2005 and now lives in Philadelphia.

Palladino, 48, works as director of donor relations and stewardship at Bryn Mawr College, and Barker, 42, is assistant dean and director of student funding at the college. The couple is raising a son.

Michael Banks and Eric Kraeutler of Morgan Lewis & Bockius are serving as lead counsel, and Tiffany Palmer and Benjamin Jerner of Jerner & Palmer, P.C., as co-counsel. Equality Forum coordinated the lawsuit.

Palmer said this week’s motion was in response to a November filing by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett to dismiss the case.

“This is a response to that to explain why the court should hear this case,” Palmer said.

The filing says the law amounts to the state “arbitrarily creat[ing] a class of extant marriages that it deems unworthy of respect and recognition.”

The suit contends the ban violates’ plaintiffs’ due-process and equal-protection rights, the federal Full Faith and Credit Clause, and the Fundamental Right to Travel.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has asked the court to dismiss her as a defendant. In the summer, she announced she would not defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

If the court were to grant the motion for summary judgment, it would allow the state to recognize same-sex marriage performed in jurisdictions that sanction marriage equality.

While Palmer said it is hard to determine the outcome, her team is remaining positive.

“The judge is interested in this case,” she said. “We are very optimistic.”

Palmer said the court has 30 days to respond to the motion.

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