SCOTUS Justice Samuel Alito Denies Pennsylvania County Clerk’s Petition to Intervene and Halt Gay Marriages

Santai-gaffneyTheresa Santai-Gaffney, the Schuykill County, Pennsylvania Clerk who has been waging a one-woman crusade against the state's legalization of gay marriage, petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court this week to intervene, halt the state's gay marriages and defend the state's ban in an appeal since the governor has refused.

Justice Samuel Alito denied Santai-Gaffney's request today, writes Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog:

In another development on same-sex marriage Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., denied without comment a Pennsylvania county clerk’s plea to stop such marriages in that state.  That appears to remove the last potential legal barrier to Pennsylvania becoming the nineteenth state in which same-sex marriages are permitted.  A federal judge struck down the state ban, and state officials declined to appeal.  The Schuylkill County clerk sought to appeal in their place, but that move has now been turned down at all three levels of the federal court system.


  1. says

    Gee, we didn’t see that one coming. Great news for PA nonetheless.

    No standing for you, Theresa! Time to go home and lie down.

  2. JackFknTwist says

    Now I am really surprised…..Alito !

    I guess he declined her application on grounds of locus standi.
    If the law officials of the State are not appealing, then WTF is she to do so ?

  3. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    I still hate Alito, but I guess he doesn’t want to go down in history as ruling on the wrong side of EVERTHING.

  4. JEFF YORK says

    Doesn’t this sort of say appeals to SSM are not going to be heard? Or did he only do it because she has no standing? Maybe now she will go do her job. (or quit, no loss)

  5. UFFDA says

    Theresa you have been found guilty of homophobia. You shall remain a horny woman and be condemned to the completion of this life and then a whole ‘nother one in the exclusive company of gay men falling in love with one another but never with you. Better get a big screen TV.

  6. Philie says

    “Theresa Santai-Gaffney, the Schuykill County, Pennsylvania Clerk who has been waging a one-woman crusade…”

    You know what would be right and fair?


    They’re not crusades, they’re not to defend honor or country. They’re not defending any real set of moral values, and comparing these people’s homophobic quests to “crusades” just glorifies their ignorance and justifies their extremely ignorant and hateful behavior.

    So please, do this new evolved open country a favor and starting labeling their acts for what they truly are, no matter if they believe differently.

  7. says

    Who the h*ll does she think she is? She’s a county clerk and nothing more and she shouldn’t hold that position at all.

  8. simon says

    “That appears to remove the last potential legal barrier ”
    Not exactly. That doesn’t stop a grandma from Alaska filing an appeal to SCOTUS.

  9. tominsf says

    Actually, Simon, I think the word crusade fits pretty well, as a crusade is a militant movement to impose the beliefs of a bigoted medieval religion on a large population of ‘non-believers’.

  10. simon says

    You mix me up with Philie. Here my two cents.
    “They’re not crusades, they’re not to defend honor or country. They’re not defending any real set of moral values…”
    My goodness, if “crusades” were such a noble cause, Pope John Paul II shouldn’t have apologized for them. Throughout the history of the Church, they always tend to commit unspeakable atrocities in the name of God, in the name of their own “moral values”.
    One famous example from Christopher Hitchens:
    “The crusaders inflicted a massacre in the narrow streets of Jerusalem, where, according to the hysterical and gleeful chroniclers, the spilled blood reached up to the bridles of the horses.”
    Many were innocent Jewish bystanders.

  11. woodroad34 says

    BWah ha ha ha….The shrew who acts like a bigoted pig; her mating call is Shrew-eeeeee.

  12. JJ says

    Strange, @PHILIE. The connotation you draw from the word crusade is exactly the opposite of what I get from it. Has there ever been a single crusade that was “defending any real set of moral values,” as you say? Has there been one that wasn’t, as you say, “extremely ignorant and hateful behavior?” None that I know of. Andy’s use of the word comports exactly with my understanding of it.

  13. Keith says

    I would like to ask any clerk if they are turning away divorced people who are applying for licenses for second or more marriages. The bible is very clear on this subject but most bible beaters have forgotten this.

  14. simon says

    Apparently PHILIE got his meaning of the word from watching the Bible channel. I have to admit I never watched it.

  15. Patrick says

    To ALL of the “traditionalists” stuck in Dark Ages mindsets: come JOIN the 21st century. God wants you to stop embarrassing yourselves.. you bigots are LOSING big time. So get the phuck over yourselves . And none of you are Godly whatsoever. Quite the opposite in fact.. REALLY read your Bibles.

  16. Mike in Asheville says

    Keith: The vehement voice of anti-gay Christianists is, simply, a whitewashing of their sins of omission with regard to divorce and adultery. Oh, those hypocrite fundamentalists; they make a HUGE deal over a dozen obscure and historically inaccurate Biblical passages about male prostitution and hope that God will be fooled that they violate His commandments AND the multiple admonishments in the words of Jesus against divorce and adultery.

    The God they profess to believe in will not be so easily fooled by their corruption. It is amazing to me that these lame-brains shout to the heavens of God’s great powers and yet, they so summarily insult that God with their little swindles.

  17. Bernie says

    It looks like Ms. Santai-Gaffney did not pray hard enough to win this case! If she does not want to do her job, she should quit or get fired! This is another case where right wing religious folks do NOT have standing in marriage equality cases… Basically, it is none of their business….

  18. IPW says

    Instead of calling actions like hers a Crusade how about a Jihad? I refer to people like her as part of the christian taliban, and their antigay beliefs are shared with the islamic taliban as are many others: creationism, inerrancy of the bible/quran etc. Since so many of People like her tend to be christian republican evangelicals and are anti muslim bigots as well as homophobic ones I like to ask how come they try so hard to mimic the islam they hate?