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Same-sex marriage and divorce no longer banned in Pennsylvania

The debate over same-sex marriage continues to be one that many individuals have strong opinions about. However, because the decision on whether to recognize same-sex marriages is still being decided on a state-to-state basis, many couples can face difficulties if they are married in one state then later move to another. Luckily, for those living in Pennsylvania, same-sex marriage and divorce may become less complicated.

It was recently ruled by a federal judge that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Plaintiffs had filed a case against the state’s ban and, in order to not go to trial, the governor and plaintiffs allowed the decision to be made by the federal judge. If this decision is not appealed, this would be the 19th state to deem same-sex marriage legal.

One main complaint of the ban was that it caused difficult issues for affected couples and their children because certain laws that applied to heterosexual couples did not apply to them. These issues included lack of tax incentives and other important privileges that married couples were able to take advantage of. The previous lack of recognition also made it impossible for same-sex couples to divorce due to the state not considering their unions legal in the first place.

Because the ban was overturned, same-sex marriage and divorce has taken a great step forward in Pennsylvania. Couples in this state will likely wish to know more about this situation and what it could mean for their state of affairs. Therefore, remaining updated on these law changes could help individuals better understand the steps they need to take in order to get married or file for divorce, depending on their specific circumstances.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Judge Rules Pennsylvania's Gay Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional", , May 20, 2014

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