Marriage Rights For All

Marriage rights have come a long way over the past 50 years, but we are not done yet.  

In 1967 the Supreme Court of the United States of America decided on the case Loving v. Virginia.  The case was about the constitutionality of a Virginia law that stated people who were deemed 'white' and people who were deemed 'black,' could not marry.  The Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional and that marriage was a basic right of all citizens of this country.  In 1987 the Supreme Court also decided on the case Turner v. Safley,  where an inmate in a Missouri prison was not allowed to obtain a marriage certificate because the warden deemed it to be a security threat.  The Supreme Court's decision said the warden's action was unconstitutional and because marriage is a basic right, inmates have the right to get married in an alternative way.

A few days ago, Kevin Davis, an inmate in a Fayette County, Pennsylvania, prison was denied the right to marry.  He was denied by the Superintendent of the prison, Brian Coleman and by the Fayette County Register of Wills, Donald Redman.  Coleman would not grant Davis the ability to appear in person at the Register of Wills office to obtain a marriage certificate, and Redman did not provide an alternative to Davis to obtain a marriage certificate.

In Montgomery County, we have an alternative for prisoners.  My office sends a representative to the prison to issue a marriage certificate.  I have been doing this since I came into office, and I firmly believe that marriage is a right for all.

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  • published this page in News 2015-07-14 13:52:37 -0400

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