On September 25, 2013, twenty-two same-sex couples filed this lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause and Equal Rights Amendment of the Pennsylvania State Constitution. The same-sex couples, all represented by private counsel, sued the state of Pennsylvania, requesting that the Court declare their marriages valid, invalidate provisions of the state constitution banning same sex-marriages, and enjoin the state from enforcing these provisions.
On June 26, 2013, three months before this lawsuit, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as an affront to the Equal Protection rights of same-sex couples. United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane, charged with defending and enforcing the Pennsylvania Marriage Law, then announced that she believed that the Marriage Law was "wholly unconstitutional." On July 23, 2013, the Montgomery County, PA, clerk began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
At this point, the Governor, acting through his General Counsel, filed a petition for mandamus in state court to stop the clerk from issuing marriage licenses. The state also argued that the same-sex couples' marriage licenses were invalid. On September 12, 2013, a state trial judge (Judge Dan Pelligrini) granted the petition. Directly following this ruling, the plaintiffs in this case filed this lawsuit, also in state court. (They filed directly in the "Commonwealth Court" -- which is usually an appellate rather than trial court, because the case was against the state.)
We don't have much information on what happened in the Commonwealth Court; only the docket is available, without other documents. However, several months earlier, a federal case had been brought challenging Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage. See Whitehood v. Wolf, PB-PA-0012
in this Clearinghouse. In that case, on May 20, 2014, the federal district court struck down the marriage ban. In light of the Whitehood ruling, the parties signed a settlement agreement on September 30, 2014, under which the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognized the plaintiffs as legally married as of May 20, 2014. Katherine Reineck - 03/13/2015
Beth Richardson - 07/24/2015