Pennsylvania officials won’t oppose order allowing Montgomery County clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
May 22, 2014
Most county clerks in Pennsylvania have been allowed to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples since the district court’s decision striking down the statutory ban in Whitewood v. Wolf this week. Only the Montgomery County Clerk has been prohibited from doing so: he was ordered by a state court judge to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and to comply with state law, back in September 2013. The clerk, Bruce Hanes, had previously decided to issue licenses to same-sex couples based on his own understanding of Constitutional law.
Wednesday night, Frank Custer, the Director of Communications of Montgomery County, told NBC10 that in light of the recent court ruling, Hanes would once again be allowed to issue the marriage licenses. “It is our understanding that the PA Department of Health tonight will file a “letter of no objection” with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court concerning the stay preventing Montco Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes from issuing same sex marriage licenses,” Custer said in a written release. “This should allow the Supreme Court to issue a ruling tomorrow allowing Mr. Hanes to resume issuing those licenses.” After the federal judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban on Tuesday, Hanes said he was looking forward to having the restrictions that were implemented by the lawsuit lifted.
Once the order is issued, all counties will be complying with the federal district court’s order.
Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for these filings