Main | Tuesday, December 03, 2013

PA County Clerk Files Supreme Court Bid To Resume Granting Marriage Licenses

Montgomery County Clerk Bruce Hanes has petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for permission to resume granting same-sex marriage licenses. In September a state appellate court ordered Hanes to stop after he had issued 174 licenses to gay couples.
Hanes says the court order forced him to violate his oath by complying with a law he regards as unconstitutional. He cites the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling that the federal government could not deny benefits to married same-sex couples who live in states that allow same-sex marriage, as well as state Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s subsequent refusal to defend the law against a federal court challenge because she considers it unconstitutional. Hanes also contends the Health Department lacked legal standing to take him to court. James Schultz, Gov. Tom Corbett’s general counsel, had no immediate comment on the filing, said Schultz’s spokesman, Joshua Maus.
RELATED: In a separate action, the ACLU is suing Gov. Tom Corbett on behalf of several gay couples. That case is set to go to trial in June.

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