A married lesbian couple on Thursday asked a federal court to
force Pennsylvania to recognized their Massachusetts marriage.
Isabelle Barker and Cara Palladino married in Massachusetts in
2005 before moving to Philadelphia later that same year when Barker
got a job at Bryn Mawr College.
“My Massachusetts marriage certificate is the same as any other
couple that comes from Massachusetts,” Palladino told reporters
during a news conference overlooking Independence Hall. “It seems
to me that that's the essence of discrimination. If you're taking
the same piece of paper and you're treating it differently because of
our status, that doesn't seem fair.”
Barker said that the couple's four-and-a-half-year-old son has
begun asking whether his parents are married.
“And it's sort of befuddling to us that we don't have a really
clear answer for him about that,” Barker said. “If we lived in
Massachusetts, we would have a very easy answer: 'Yes, of course.'”
The lawsuit names Governor Tom Corbett and Attorney General
Kathleen Kane as defendants and was coordinated by the Equality
Forum, a Philadelphia-based LGBT rights group.
“Since the inception of the nation, almost all marriages
sanctioned by one state have been accepted by all other states,”
said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of Equality Forum. “Failure
by Pennsylvania to recognize a legal marriage denigrates Cara,
Isabelle and their son and denies them important family protections
At least two additional lawsuits have been filed challenging
Pennsylvania's marriage ban.
lawsuit filed challenging Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban.)