PA Wants Personal Information on Plaintiffs in Marriage Equality Suit

There’s a lawsuit going on in Pennsylvania over marriage equality and the attorneys for the state are demanding all sorts of irrelevant information on the personal romantic histories of the plaintiffs in the case. And a couple of the names involved should be familiar to many of you.

Lawyers in a federal court challenge to Pennsylvania’s law that bans same-sex marriage on Monday accused the state’s lawyers of using delay tactics and making unreasonable and intrusive requests for information from their clients, including whether they were ever in an opposite-sex relationship.

Witold J. Walczak, of the American Civil Liberties Union, told U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III in a letter that the requests demand irrelevant, highly private and sensitive information…

Among the requests, said Walczak, are whether any of the plaintiffs were ever in a relationship with a person of the opposite sex and names and contact information for every person with whom they resided over the last 10 years. The state is also seeking the identity of all health care providers from whom the plaintiffs sought treatment or counseling for harm they allegedly suffered as a result of allegations in the lawsuit, Walczak wrote.

“Not only do these requests invade highly private and sensitive areas, none of them involve relevant information or are likely to lead to discovery of relevant information,” Walczak wrote…

Other information requests by the state’s lawyers are unduly burdensome, including correspondence, letters, notes, records, reports, diaries or any other writings that pertain to the subject or events on which the lawsuit is based, Walczak wrote.

Vic Walczak was one of the attorneys in the Dover “intelligent design” trial in 2005, and of course Judge Jones was the judge in that case.

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About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • left0ver1under

    So much for the right wing lie about “activist leftist judges”. Jones is displaying breathtaking inanity.

    Jones’ demands for unnecessary information are nowhere near as awful and invasive as those hurled at plaintiffs in rape trials, but they’re in the same vicinity and asked with the same mindset. He wouldn’t be asking those questions if it were a heterosexual couple, not even where one is an immigrant and a visa is on the line.

  • neXus

    I don’t think Judge Jones is demanding the information – he is overseeing the case, and the state’s lawyers are making these demands.

  • d.c.wilson

    According to the article Ed linked to, it is the state lawyers who are making those demands. The ACLU is filing a letter to Judge Jones in order to protest those demands. Now he gets to decide if they are reasonable.