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Pennsylvania governor says he won't appeal ruling that legalized same-sex marriage

Ashley Wilson, left, and Lindsay Vandermay, right, both 29, react after getting their marriage license at the Philadelphia Marriage Bureau in City Hall, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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Ashley Wilson, left, and Lindsay Vandermay, right, both 29, react after getting their marriage license at the Philadelphia Marriage Bureau in City Hall, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania's Republican governor says he won't appeal a court decision that struck down the state's gay marriage ban.

Gov. Tom Corbett's decision Wednesday means that same-sex marriage will remain legal in Pennsylvania, without the threat that a higher court will reinstate the ban.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III struck down Pennsylvania's 1996 law banning recognition of gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional.

Corbett opposes same-sex marriage and supported thus-far unsuccessful efforts to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.

But he says an appeal would be "extremely unlikely to succeed."

Pennsylvania is the 19th to recognize same-sex marriages. Hundreds of gay couples apply for marriage licenses after Jones' ruling Tuesday.

Pennsylvania was the last northeastern U.S. state to outlaw gay marriage.

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