If Jones agrees with that decision, "the case is over," lawyer William Lamb told him. Lamb, a West Chester resident and former state Supreme Court judge, represents Corbett and state Health Secretary Michael Wolf.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they do not expect the motion to be granted. If it is, they plan to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.
The plaintiffs - 23 men, women, and children - want the judge to overturn the 1996 state law that defines marriage as a civil contract between "one man and one woman," and order the state to recognize their marriages as legal. They contend the law violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment.
None of them attended the hearing Wednesday.
Filed in July, their lawsuit seeks injunctive relief. But one of their lawyers, Witold Walczak, the legal director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, told the judge he would prefer to wait for a trial on the issues rather than have a preliminary injunction hearing.
"This case is too impactful to take a shortcut," Walczak said, citing "irreparable harm" to gay couples who cannot obtain the same benefits as married couples.
Jones is also expected to rule on a separate motion to release Corbett and Wolf from the case. Lamb has argued that they are immune from a federal suit without their consent, as state officials.
Another lawsuit, filed by the commonwealth against Montgomery County Register of Wills L. Bruce Hanes for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, is pending before the state Supreme Court.