NOM BLOG

"Legal Chaos" Ensues After Rogue Pennsylvania County Ignores Law, Issues Marriage Licenses

 

The inevitable outcome after state officials take it upon themselves to break their own laws:

Montgomery County PA“There is no limit to the administrative and legal chaos that is likely to flow from the clerk’s unlawful practice of issuing marriage licenses to those who are not permitted under Pennsylvania law to marry,” the [Pennsylvania Department of Health's legal] brief reads. “One consequence of the clerk’s illegal conduct in issuing invalid marriage licenses is likely to be this: Same-sex couples who falsely believe (or merely contend erroneously) that they are married will apply for claim benefits or other treatment (both public and private) that is reserved for those who are lawfully married under Pennsylvania law.”

The state has repeatedly contended that Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphan’s Court D. Bruce Hanes violates the state marriage law every time he issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

“By his own acknowledgement, the clerk is repeatedly, continuously and notoriously acting in clear derogation of the marriage law inasmuch as he is issuing marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender,” the brief states. “The clerk’s actions are in direct defiance of the express policy of the commonwealth, that ‘marriage is between one man and one woman.’” -Daily Local News