University of Pittsburgh
May 20, 2014

Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Ruled Unconstitutional: Pitt Experts Available to Comment

Decision in Whitewood v. Wolf overturns Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh has experts available to comment on the legal and social aspects of the just-announced ruling that Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. John E. Jones, United States Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, ruled today on a lawsuit, Whitewood v. Wolf, filed on behalf of 21 Pennsylvanians wishing to marry in Pennsylvania or have the state recognize their out-of-state marriages.

Legal scholar Anthony C. Infanti, professor of law and associate dean for academic affairs in the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, is available to comment on the legal aspects of Whitewood v. Wolf and Judge Jones’ decision.

The author of Everyday Law for Gays and Lesbians (and Those Who Care About Them) (Paradigm Publishers, 2007)—which includes a chapter titled “Marriage and Its Alternatives” and discussions about the Defense of Marriage Act, state and U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and constitutional law—Infanti is well situated to comment on the federal law, the Court’s decision, and related issues.

Infanti’s scholarly work has largely addressed the impact of the tax system on traditionally subordinated groups, an area widely known as critical tax theory. The coeditor of Critical Tax Theory: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Infanti has focused his work in critical tax theory work, particularly on the application of the tax laws to lesbians and gay men.  

Infanti can be reached at or 412-648-1244.

Helma de Vries-Jordan, assistant professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, is available to comment on the movement toward the right to marry for same-sex couples and the broader social context in which Judge Jones’ decision was made.

Currently working on a book focusing on the marriage equality movement and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activism, de Vries-Jordan is an expert on issues facing LGBT people, global protests, and the marriage equality movement across the United States and Europe.

de Vries-Jordan has also published articles on global anti-war protests, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and global justice protests targeting meetings of international institutions. She is currently in Europe conducting research on the marriage equality movement in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, and Ireland.

A coadvisor to Pitt-Bradford’s LGBTS Alliance and the History and Political Science Club, de Vries-Jordan lives in Olean, N.Y., with her wife.

Although de Vries-Jordan is currently in Europe, she is available to call reporters. She can be reached at or through Kimberly Marcott Weinberg, assistant director of communications and marketing at Pitt-Bradford, at 814-331-5664.