Womens’ civil union can be ended in Pennsylvania, court says

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania appellate court says two women joined in a civil union in Vermont should be able to dissolve it in Pennsylvania.

The state Superior Court’s decision Wednesday overturned a ruling in Philadelphia’s family court that it lacked jurisdiction to dissolve the civil union.

Freyda Neyman and Florence Buckley joined the civil union in 2002 in Vermont, before same-sex marriage was legal. They sought a divorce in Philadelphia in 2014, but the family court judge ruled that divorce law and rules of civil procedure don’t authorize the dissolution of civil unions.

But the Superior Court panel says a Vermont civil union should be considered the equivalent of marriage under Pennsylvania divorce law. It notes that civil unions and marriages are subject to the same benefits and obligations under Vermont law.

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