Ex-MA Couple Wants PA To Recognize Their Same Sex Marriage
September 30, 2013 - Tom Joseph
PHILADELPHIA - A same-sex couple, married legally in
Massachusetts, is filing suit to have the union recognized in their new
home state of Pennsylvania. Isabelle Barker and Carla Palladino claimed
that by not recognizing their marriage, Pennsylvania is denying them
hundreds of benefits that opposite-sex couples traditionally receive
ranging from medical to taxes to home ownership. Palladino said the
message is clear.
"My Massachusetts marriage certificate is the same as any other couple
that comes from Massachusetts. It seems to me that that's the essence of
discrimination, if you're taking the same piece of paper and you're
treating it differently because of our status," Palladino said.
Malcom Lazin, executive director of the Equality Forum, said the issue puts Pennsylvania in a bad light.
"They moved to Pennsylvania in order to pursue job opportunity, and what
they found was that their marriage was considered null and void," Lazin
Michael Banks, the plaintiffs' attorney, claimed that, by failing to
recognize their union, Pennsylvania is violating the women's
constitutional right to travel among states without penalty, as well as a
guarantee that states uphold judgments and decrees cast in other
"We believe it's critically important to emphasize the dignity that
should be accorded in Pennsylvania and in every state to marriages that
are lawfully drafted in states like Massachusetts," Banks said.
Pennsylvania remains the only state in the Northeast that does not allow
same sex marriages. It also will not recognize same-sex marriages that
are legally done in other states. Gov. Tom Corbett has said all laws are
presumed to be constitutional and are to be defended, and that
Pennsylvania's ban on same sex marriage fits into that category.