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County clerk in Pennsylvania ordered to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

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Pennsylvania state sealPennsylvania’s Montgomery County Clerk has been ordered by a judge to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The order comes after briefing and a hearing.

The judge said only courts can decide whether a statute, such as Pennsylvania’s anti-gay marriage statute, is valid:

After considering nearly 500 pages of legal briefings and over an hour’s testimony Sept. 4 in Harrisburg, President Judge Dan Pellegrini today ordered Hanes to stop issuing the licenses. “A clerk of courts has not been given the discretion to decide … whether the statute he or she is charged to enforce is a good idea or bad one, constitutional or not. Only courts have the power to make that decision,” Pellegrini wrote.

The ruling doesn’t appear to address whether marriages already performed in the county will remain valid.

EqualityOnTrial will have more coverage in the coming days.

Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for this filing

Penn. Dept of Health v. Hanes – Opinion by EqualityCaseFiles


  • 1. The state of marriage equ&hellip  |  September 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    […] The court has ordered the the county clerk to stop issuing marriage certificates to same-sex […]

  • 2. Equality On TrialPennsylv&hellip  |  May 22, 2014 at 10:19 am

    […] 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 […]

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