HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s governor says he won’t appeal a court decision that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s decision Wednesday means that same-sex marriage will remain legal in Pennsylvania, without the threat that a higher court will reinstate the ban.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III struck down Pennsylvania’s 1996 law banning recognition of gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional.
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Corbett’s decision goes against his political beliefs. He opposes same-sex marriage and supported thus-far unsuccessful efforts to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.
But he says an appeal would be “extremely unlikely to succeed.”
Pennsylvania is the 19th to recognize same-sex marriages. Hundreds of gay couples apply for marriage licenses after Jones’ ruling Tuesday.
Pennsylvania was the last northeastern U.S. state to outlaw gay marriage.