Main | Tuesday, July 30, 2013

PENNSYLVANIA: Health Department Sues To Stop Montgomery County Marriages

Pennsylvania's Department of Health today filed suit to stop Montgomery County from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Montgomery County's register of wills, Bruce Hanes, has issued licenses to 31 couples so far.
The lawsuit, filed this morning by the state Department of Health's chief counsel, asks that the court immediately force Hanes to "comply with the [Pennsylvania] Marriage Law and to direct the Clerk to immediately cease and desist issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples." The Health Department filed the suit because it processes and tracks marriage records for the state. "Compliance with Pennsylvania law by its public officials is a mandatory obligation," the suit states. "Ours is a government of laws, not one of public officials exercising their will as they believe the law should be or will be."
Pennsylvania's Office of General Counsel also today sent a letter to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, chastising her "improper" declaration that she would not defend the state against marriage lawsuits. The above-linked article notes that today's actions are the first salvo from GOP Gov. Tom Corbett since the overturn of DOMA brought renewed action on marriage in his state.

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