PA County Clerk Stopped from Issuing Marriage Licenses to Gays Appeals Case to State’s Highest Court

D. Bruce Hanes, the Montgomery County Clerk who issued marriage licenses to dozens of same-sex couples before being ordered to stop, has appealed his case to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the AP reports:

HanesThe state Health Department took Hanes to court for violating the law after he began issuing licenses to same-sex couples in July. In September, Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini ordered him to stop signing the licenses. By then, Hanes had signed 174 licenses.

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.


  1. Hey Darlin' says

    It’s come to the point where there is no justification for why some gay couples can have legal protections designed for couples but others can be denied simply based on where they have to live. Oh how the opposition wishes you would move to a state that recognizes your commitment. Instead we all have to work toward making this nation truly free for all, and not hold only a specific group to antiquated laws.

  2. Bear says

    Thank You to D. Bruce Hanes for his tireless efforts. He is a Brave man doing the work of hundreds. Succeed or fail, we will always appreciate him stepping forward for all of us.

  3. Howard says

    It takes great courage to stand up for what you believe, when everyone else around you is just following orders. D Bruce Hanes is a real mensch and my hat is off to this brave man.

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