Gay Marriage

Judge Rejects Efforts to Block Gay Marriage Suits in Pa.

Federal challenge to ban on same-sex marriage recognition

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A federal court challenge to Pennsylvania's 17-year-old law banning the recognition of same-sex marriages took an important step toward a trial Friday when a judge rejected two different attempts to block the lawsuit and said high court treatment of cases involving sex and sexual identity have undergone a "sea change."

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III denied the motions to dismiss the lawsuit by Pennsylvania's secretaries of the departments of Health and Revenue and Bucks County's register of wills.

It is a strong sign the case is headed to trial and, potentially, the U.S. Supreme Court. In a note at the end of his 10-page decision, Jones set a Nov. 22 conference and advised lawyers in the case to be "fully prepared" to discuss the starting date of a trial.