By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — In a sign that the case is headed to trial, a federal judge has dismissed motions to toss a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s law that prohibits same-sex marriage.

In his opinion, federal judge John E. Jones III, sitting in Harrisburg, says the legal system’s view of sex and sexual identity as it relates to constitutional challenges based on equal protection and due process has undergone, in his words, “what can only be described as a sea change” over the past four decades.

With that, Jones dismissed motions by the state secretaries of health and revenue, and the Bucks County register of wills.

Those motions had sought to toss the federal suit, which is one of several different legal challenges to Pennsylvania’s marriage law.

One of those other cases involves the Montgomery County register of wills, who was ordered by Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

That ruling has been appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.