Pennsylvania Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals Pennsylvania Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Grandparent Rights Forum Pennsylvania Products Divorce by County
Same Sex Couples Can Marry
Massachusetts highest court ruled on February 4, 2004, that anything less than same sex marriages is unconstitutional. The court's decision will stand until 2006, when a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman can placed on the ballot. In response, the lawmakers in Massachusetts are preparing to vote on a proposed amendment to the state's constitution that would seek to make the court's ruling moot, by defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, thus expressly making same sex marriages illegal in Massachusetts.
In a similar decision issued in Vermont in 1999, Vermont's highest court told the Vermont lawmakers that it could allow gay couples to marry or it could create a separate category with the same rights and benefits of marriage. The Vermont lawmakers chose to create a separate category called "civil unions".
The Massachusetts decision made no mention of the Vermont law on civil unions, pointing instead to a recent Ontario, Canada decision which changed the definition of marriage to include gay couples. The Massachusetts high court stated that any category short of marriage would establish an "unconstitutional, inferior and discriminatory status for same sex couples." "The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever equal."
What will happen in Pennsylvania remains to be seen. Pennsylvania does not recognize same sex marriages or civil unions at the present time.
The Pennsylvania court may decide to order both spouses to attend an orientation for mediation or counseling. Mediation may resolve issues outside of court. The court tells the parties what issues need to be addressed in the sessions (for example, child custody, child support or division of property). The court cannot order mediation if there have been any allegations of domestic violence or child abuse within the past two years.
Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
|Your Right to Child Custody, Visitation & Support
Cover Price: $
Your Price: $17.95
You Save: $7.00
"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
|The information contained on this page is not to be considered legal advice. This website is not a substitute for a lawyer and a lawyer should always be consulted in regards to any legal matters. Divorce Source, Inc. is also not a referral service and does not endorse or recommend any third party individuals, companies, and/or services. Divorce Source, Inc. has made no judgment as to the qualifications, expertise or credentials of any participating professionals. Read our Terms & Conditions.|