Pennsylvania Court to Hear Gay Marriage License Case Today
The case of Pennsylvania's Montgomery County, which has been handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples since July, will go before a state court in Harrisburg today, NBC Philadelphia reports:
Oral arguments before Commonwealth Court on Wednesday involve a lawsuit filed by Gov. Tom Corbett's Health Department against the courthouse official, Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes (pictured). By the close of business Tuesday, Hanes had issued 164 licenses, and 98 of them have been completed, returned and filed.
The Health Department wants the court to stop Hanes, an elected official who handles the licenses in his role as orphan's court clerk.
In bringing the suit, the Health Department said its role includes making sure marriage registrations are “uniformly and thoroughly enforced throughout the state,” and that Hanes' actions have interfered with the proper performance of the agency's powers, duties and responsibilities.
“Some people have said I’ve broken the law, which I may have done,” said Hanes, while seated in his office surrounded by family photos and Civil War-era paraphernalia, as well as an 1857 newspaper clipping advertising Abraham Lincoln’s legal services. “But I’ve broken an unconstitutional law.”