A federal judge's ruling Tuesday that Pennsylvania's 1996 ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional puts the ball back in Gov. Corbett's court. He could settle the matter by not appealing the decision.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III wrote that it's time to discard such laws "onto the ash heap of history." But that may not be the final word. Gay couples rushing to get marriage licenses after Jones' decision know an appeal could negate their happiness.

It is time to give gay couples the ability to enjoy the same legal status as heterosexual couples. Corbett can hasten that day by letting Jones' ruling stand.

Last year, Corbett said he would support legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Giving legal standing to gay marriages is the next logical step.

Even then, many won't be comfortable with same-sex unions from a moral or religious perspective. But as Jones rightly noted, a person's comfort cannot be the basis for a ruling on a law's constitutionality.