Philly Jewish Teacher Lauds Official's Refusal To Defend Gay Marriage Ban

Helena Miller Praises Pa. Attorney General's Action

Helena Miller, shown her at her wedding to Dara Raspberry, says she’s pleased the Pennsylvania attorney general is refusing to defend her suit challenging the state’s gay marriage ban.
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Helena Miller, shown her at her wedding to Dara Raspberry, says she’s pleased the Pennsylvania attorney general is refusing to defend her suit challenging the state’s gay marriage ban.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published July 11, 2013.
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The Jewish teacher who sued to lift Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban told the Forward that she is pleased that the state’s attorney general has refused to defend the law.

“We are both incredibly delighted because it’s such good news for the case,” said Helena Miller, referring to her wife, Dara Raspberry. “We were both very proud of our attorney general for taking such a strong stand for equality.”

Miller’s Connecticut marriage to Raspberry is not recognized in Pennsylvania due to a 1996 state law. The two are among more than 20 plaintiffs in a federal suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on July 9 that challenges that law.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced July 11 that she thought the state’s anti-same sex marriage law was unconstitutional, and that she would not defend it in federal court.

That doesn’t mean that the court fight is over. Other named defendants in the case, including the governor’s office, could still choose to defend the law.

“We don’t know what the goveror’s intentions are at this point,” said Molly Tack-Hooper, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “The lawsuit is certainly not going away because of this.”


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