12 September 2013

PA judge rules against county official who issued same-sex marriage licenses

A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge today ruled against Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes, who has been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a state law that defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.

Judge Dan Pellegrini did not address the constitutionality of the state's marriage law. Instead, he decided that Hanes did not have the power to act outside the law; specifically, that Hanes has "admittedly failed to comply with his mandatory ministerial public duty" under the marriage law. And he ordered Hanes to stop it.

>> Read the judge's opinion. (PDF)

Fortunately, the issue won't stop there. The ACLU of Pennsylvania has other litigation in the pipeline that challenges the state's discriminatory marriage law. So stay tuned, with fingers crossed.

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