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Category Archives: Pennsylvania

Everyday Heroes Like You

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The 2014 March for Marriage and Gala is a celebration of marriage and its champions.

Today, I want to introduce you to a marriage champion who has stood boldly by the courage of her convictions for marriage, and should stand as an example for all of us.

Last week, Theresa Gaffney, Register of Wills/Clerk of the Orphans' Court in Schuykilll County, Pennsylvania, took courageous steps to file motions to stay Judge Jones' awful ruling overturning that state's Defense of Marriage Act and to intervene and appeal the case to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Mrs. Gaffney is displaying courage where others have not in Pennsylvania, especially Governor Tom Corbett. She knows that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that marriage provides the best chance for children to experience the love and care of both a mother and a father. She also knows that the decision of Pennsylvania lawmakers to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman is enttled to a defense in the higher courts.

Even though elected officials well above her like Governor Corbett have failed to defend the law of the land, Mrs. Gaffney has stepped up hoping to give marriage the good and vigorous defense it deserves.

Of course, those who would redefine marriage from across the country are sending her vicious hate mail and launching other attacks. These radicals cannot stand when someone exercises his or her right to defend marriage and they do everything in their power to bully and intimidate marriage supporters into silence. Fortunately, Mrs. Gaffney has not backed down in the face of this onslaught.

Would you take the time to send a note of thanks and encouragement to this courageous public official today? Follow this link to use our system to send a brief note letting her know that she is not alone in her battle — you stand with her in spirit and in prayer. Just click here to send an email right now. Thank you.

Mrs. Gaffney's stand for principle will be matched by the thousands of marriage supporters who take to the streets of Washington, D.C. in just four days. As Americans from all across the country rally and march, they will be demonstrating support of the sacred and unique truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and that every child deserves a mother and a father.

Will you be joining us for this momentous event? We certainly hope so as the bigger the crowd, the clearer the message to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Congress, the media, and the rest of America. Check out the March's website here for all the details including directions, our incredible list of speakers, and buses that still have open seats. If you haven't already, find one near you for you and your friends!

National leaders such as former Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator Rick Santorum, Congressman Tim Huelskamp, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Reverend Jim Garlow, and many others are lending their reputations and their voices, making this a historic event that you won't want to miss.

Finally to get a taste of why we march, make sure to watch and share our compelling video for this year's event. It's still not too late to share it with all your friends, family, and faith community.

Click here to view video

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Mrs. Gaffney has already stood up in the public square for marriage. Will you do likewise in Washington this week as we March for Marriage?

I truly hope to see you there.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown


P.S. The March for Marriage will be a critical and historic step in defending marriage and the faith communities that support it. I hope you can make it and demonstrate the courage of your convictions with thousands of your fellow Americans.

Marriage Champion Needs Your Encouragement

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Last Friday, Theresa Gaffney, Clerk of the Orphans' Court of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, filed paperwork to intervene in the case that overturned Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act. She is seeking a stay of Judge Jones' May 20th ruling and the right to appeal in the case.

Please take a moment right now to send her an encouraging note so she knows that she is not alone. Just click here to send your message.

In filing her motions for a stay and to intervene, Mrs. Gaffney, a county official, is showing great courage — courage that others failed to muster. She understands, like you do, that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that children deserve both a mother and a father. Thank God she is taking a stand.

As you can imagine, Mrs. Gaffney has now been receiving vicious hate-filled messages from same-sex marriage supporters, mostly from well outside Schuylkill County and Pennsylvania. This is how gay-marriage advocates will seek to stop her (and all marriage champions across the country): bullying and intimidation.

Would you please keep Mrs. Gaffney in your prayers, that she may be blessed in her courage, strengthened and protected?

And would you also take time to let her know of your support and prayers by sending her an email today? Just click here to send an email today.

As all of us who fight these battles know, there's nothing quite like a personal note of thanks and encouragement when times get tough.

Thank you.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

P.S. Please take the time to email Mrs. Gaffney with a message thanking her for her courage in standing up for marriage. She needs to know that her actions are greatly appreciated by people across Pennsylvania, and that her courage is not in vain.

Renew The Push

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The people of Pennsylvania have been denied due process on so many levels when it comes to the marriage debate — it must stop.

Take the time today to join our friends at the Pennsylvania Pastors' Network in urging support for resolutions spearheaded by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R.-Butler) in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Sen. John Eichelberger (R.-Hollidaysburg) in the Senate calling for the Corbett Administration to appeal the recent court decision that invalidated Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act.

Use this link to send Governor Corbett a message urging him to appeal the court ruling and to let your Representative and Senator know that you want marriage, and the law of the land, protected in the courts.

While the State Legislature, with the support of the people, approved the state's Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, since then the people have been roundly ignored and law of the land flouted. The people, through their elected officials, have repeatedly asked for the right to vote and enshrine the definition of marriage in the State's constitution.

Then, last year Attorney General Kathleen Kane abandoned the people and her oath of office by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Her actions opened the door for renegade county officials to defy the law and begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Now a judge has decided to legislate from the bench and impose his individual opinion about marriage on every voter by overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. This has got to stop.

Time is running out. Please send an email today to Governor Corbett and the legislature urging him to appeal this horrendous ruling. The Governor still can intervene — he has 30 days from May 20th to file the state's appeal. Follow this link to urge him to do so.

Let's renew the push in Pennsylvania to protect marriage, the law of the land, and the sovereignty of the people. Send Governor Corbett your message today.

Standing with all Pennsylvanians,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

P.S. Brave legislators are standing up on your behalf. Support their resolutions by sending a message to Governor Corbett asking him to follow their Resolutions. Click here to send your email today!

National Organization for Marriage Sharply Criticizes Decision by PA Governor Tom Corbett to Decline Appeal of Latest Anti-Marriage Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"Marriage is a unique public good that deserves a vigorous defense; however Governor Corbett has refused to step up to the task, and chosen instead to defend himself and his political aspirations." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today strongly criticized Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett for refusing to appeal Tuesday's decision by Judge John E. Jones, III's in Whitewood v. Wolf. The case was a challenge to Pennsylvania's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act; the Judge ruled that such laws should be "discard[ed]… into the ash heap of history."

"Governor Corbett claims to be a man of principle and a supporter of marriage. Indeed, in the very statement issued today announcing that he will not appeal this ruling, Corbett cites his own Catholic faith with regard to marriage," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.

"But Governor Corbett is abandoning marriage with this choice. He is also turning his back on the people of Pennsylvania and selling out his principles precisely when it is most necessary that he stand by them! Marriage is a unique public good that deserves a vigorous defense; however Governor Corbett has refused to step up to the task, and chosen instead to defend himself and his political aspirations."

While Pennsylvania passed its Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, multiple attempts by the legislature since then to put the matter on the ballot for a popular referendum have been unsuccessful, leaving Pennsylvanians without any opportunity to directly affect the question of marriage and how it should be legally defined.

"Governor Corbett's refusal to appeal this ruling completes the disenfranchisement of the people of Pennsylvania," Brown continued. "For years they have been denied the right to vote on marriage. Now Governor Corbett has communicated to citizens of Pennsylvanians who have been fighting to be heard on this issue that he will join the ranks of the political elites unwilling to listen. Accordingly, Pennsylvania's voters must show Governor Corbett that he will be held accountable."

Brown said that the National Organization for Marriage is itself evaluating whether it could intervene in this case on behalf of its Pennsylvania members. It is also looking into what other options might exist to work with people or groups in the state who have standing to mount the strong defense of marriage called for in this case.

Brown said the case is winnable, pointing for support to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to issue a stay in a decision overturning Utah's marriage amendment, as well as to the recent Affirmative Action ruling in Michigan. In the Michigan case, the Supreme Court indicated that social policy decisions, even divisive ones, can be reasonably adjudicated by the people of a state.

"The fact is that if Governor Corbett stood by the principles he claims, he'd have chosen to defend marriage to the very end," Brown added. "The Supreme Court has indicated that they believe marriage should be left to the states and it is within states' rights to decide the matter. The Court very recently indicated as well a favorable view of the democratic role of the popular referendum process. In short, the challenge that the Governor is running away from today is one he most certainly could have won. So someone must step in and work to win."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

National Organization for Marriage Condemns Decision by Pennsylvania Judge to Redefine Marriage and Urges Governor Corbett’s Administration to Appeal Ruling Immediately

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 20, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"The ruling unilaterally makes an end-run around the democratic process and places the capricious will of one man above the desires of millions of citizens." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today expressed disappointment at the outcome of a federal court case in Pennsylvania challenging that state's statutory definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. NOM condemned the decision in the case, issued by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones, III, which found Pennsylvania's marriage law unconstitutional, and the organization expressed its hope that Governor Corbett's administration would immediately appeal the ruling and seek a stay of the decision's effects.

"Pennsylvania voters have long sought, and been denied, the right to vote on the issue of marriage. This ruling adds insult to injury, as it leaves the citizens of Pennsylvania doubly disenfranchised," said Brian Brown, NOM's President. "Members of the Pennsylvania legislature have been actively working for years to put this matter to the voters, which makes Judge Jones' cavalier decision even more brazen and unjust. The ruling unilaterally makes an end-run around the democratic process and places the capricious will of one man above the desires of millions of citizens."

Brown said he hoped that the decision's effects would be stayed and that the Corbett administration would pursue an orderly and thorough appeal of the ruling.

"We know from the stay granted in the case in Utah that the Supreme Court believes these matters should be thoroughly debated and legally argued, and that there is nothing ‘inevitable' about marriage redefinition," Brown explained. "The administration owes it to the people of Pennsylvania to pursue this matter vigorously through the court system, and give marriage the defense it requires and deserves. This is especially true in Pennsylvania, where the people have already seen the insult of the Attorney General abandoning her oath of office and refusing to defend marriage. The administration stepped in to right that wrong in this case, and we urge them to continue to render justice by providing a defense of Pennsylvania's marriage laws."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Urge Governor Corbett to Appeal Anti-Marriage Ruling!

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Today's ruling by Federal Judge John E. Jones, III overturning Pennsylvania's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is an egregious end-run around the democratic process. One man should not be able to impose his personal opinions on an entire state and redefine marriage at the stroke of a pen. For years the people of Pennsylvania have sought the right to vote on the issue of marriage but have been denied that basic right time and again. Now an activist judge has taken it upon himself to redefine marriage for every Pennsylvanian. This cannot stand!

Please follow this link to urge Governor Corbett to intervene and appeal this outrageous ruling. We are grateful that the Governor's administration stepped in and defended the State's Defense of Marriage Act last year when Attorney General Kathleen Kane abandoned her oath of office and refused to defend the law of the state. However, now we need the Governor to step up again and appeal Judge Jones's ruling.

Marriage deserves a vigorous defense. The truth of marriage has not changed – not since it was created by God and certainly not since 1996 when Pennsylvania enacted its DOMA. Marriage is a profound and unique public good that provides the best assurance that children borne of the union of man and woman will have the best opportunity of being raised by both a mother and a father.

Please take the time today to urge Governor Corbett to appeal this ruling. Then please share this urgent action alert with as many of your family and friends as you can.

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Pennsylvanians have been denied the right to vote on marriage; the least that can happen now is the law of the land be respected and vigorously defended.

Thank you.

Brian S. Brown

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Sending Buses to March for Marriage

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Life and Family is sending a bus from each county of the Archdiocese to attend the upcoming March for Marriage in Washington, D.C.

The Archdiocesan buses will aim to arrive at 10:00 am for the rally.  Those interested in riding a bus should contact bus captains directly.  Details about bus captains and locations can be found here:

Philadelphia
St. Raymond of Penafort Parish
1350 Vernon Road Philadelphia, PA 19150
Bus Captain: Arleen, [email protected]

Bucks County
St. Andrew Parish
81 Swamp Road Newtown, PA 18940
Bus Captain:  Peggy, [email protected]

Chester County SS Simon and Jude Parish
8 Cavanaugh Court West Chester, PA 19382
Bus Captain: Marty,  [email protected]

Montgomery County
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish
256 Swamp Pike Schwenksville, PA 19473
Bus Captain: Shawn Marie, [email protected]

Delaware County
St. Pius X Parish
220 Lawrence Road Broomall, PA 19008
Bus Captain:  John, jp[email protected]

If you live in Pennsylvania and need a ride to the March for Marriage, please contact one of the bus captains!  Thanks to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for sending so many marriage supporters to this year's March for Marriage!

Voters and Executives Must Prepare for More Illegitimate Rulings

The fallout from Judge Shelby’s ‘ruling’ overturning Utah’s Marriage Amendment is only just beginning.

Yesterday, Bruce Parker of The Daily Caller penned an important piece, “Utah’s lesson for the other 33 pro-marriage states.”  In it he wrote:

Gavel

In a 53-page ruling, which could best be described as a work of judicial fiction, District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby began by conceding that marriage law is “the province of the states,” but he proceeded to void Utah’s marriage law in a naked power grab that he admitted was not within his purview to do.

By the end of the ruling, Judge Shelby had overturned Utah’s definition of marriage by judicial fiat and replaced it with the one provided by LGBT activists.

The event was not an isolated incident. Within days, a federal district court judge in Ohio issued a similarly contrived judgment against that state’s constitutional marriage amendment. Moreover, according to the ACLU’s web site, copycat acts of judicial legislating are underway in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, and a dozen other red states, as part of the group’s national “Out for Freedom” campaign against state sovereignty [emphasis added].

What does this brazen usurpation of power and rejection of the democratic process mean for the other 30-plus states with amendments or laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman?

UtahFirst and foremost, state Governors and Attorneys General must reject these illegitimate rulings, and the people of these states must hold their elected officials accountable to do so.  Parker writes, “Indeed, when the two-thirds of Utahns who supported the state’s marriage law awaken from their holiday festivities and realize their constitutional sovereignty has been stolen, the phones at the offices of the governor and attorney general should ring off the hook” [emphasis added].

Parker concludes by quoting NOM president Brian Brown saying, “Our country has seen illegitimate decisions before, going back to Dred Scott. And in the past, when a court has fallen so far afoul of the Constitution itself, executives have had to stand up and say no.”

The people of Utah are up-in-arms and demanding action, to their credit. The sad reality is that, if the ACLU is to be taken at their word, it looks like the voters in 30 other states should start preparing their own plans to fight back in the near future as well.

"Where's NOM?" We're Right Here Where We've Always Been

Serial, frivolous case-filer and NOM obsessive Fred Karger had a question for me yesterday on Twitter:

So I replied:

The story to which Karger is referring is indeed a testament to how religious liberty works - and Fred's being miffed about it is an ominous indication of what would happen to religious congregations such as this one, which have the right to hire and fire their own clergy personnel, if Karger and other same-sex 'marriage' activists had their way. No doubt he would rather see the government step in and deny this congregation its first amendment rights with respect to religion, and force them to keep employing a pastor who is at odds with the congregation's beliefs. But that kind of anti-religious tyranny, which is a part of the ideal same-sex marriage regime, is precisely what we here at NOM are working against - so this story (or rather, the backlash to it) serves as a useful cautionary tale. Thanks for the news tip, Fred!

Judge Orders Pennsylvania Clerks to Obey State Marriage Law

County clerks have no authority to make up their own laws, or decide which they will/will not abide by. A Pennsylvania judge confirmed this yesterday by ordering Montgomery County clerks to desist from illegally issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples (174 had been issued in total).

As our president Brian Brown noted yesterday, Governor Corbett took great leadership on this issue to uphold the law in Montgomery County and stop the potential spread of rogue actions. The question now is whether the governor will be able to have these ‘licenses’ declared invalid and also use his office to push for a vote of the people. Please urge Gov. Corbett to take this crucial step to protect against confusion and lawsuits in the future that may jeopardize marriage in Pennsylvania.

Gavel in Motion

Reuters:

The state's Health Department sued Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes in August after he began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, following the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling that the federal government must recognize same-sex unions in states where they are legal.

"A clerk of courts has not been given the discretion to decide that a law ... he or she is charged to enforce is a good idea or bad one, constitutional or not," Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini wrote in an opinion issued on Thursday. "Only courts have the power to make that decision."

"The key question in this case has been whether any local official, anywhere in Pennsylvania, has the ability to decide which laws to uphold and which laws to reject based on their own personal legal opinion," [Pennsylvania General Counsel James] Schultz said.

Regardless of personal beliefs, ALL elected officials are trusted to respect the rule of law. If the state they represent protects marriage as the union of husband and wife, acknowledging and enforcing that law is their job.

 

The National Organization for Marriage Applauds Pennsylvania Ruling Upholding the State's Definition of Marriage and Restoring the Rule of Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"This is a victory for marriage. We are pleased that Judge Pellegrini reiterated that Pennsylvania law expressly defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman." — Brian Brown, NOM President —

National Organization for Marriage

Washington, DC — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) applauded the common sense ruling of Judge Pellegrini today when he ruled that county officials do not have the right to ignore Pennsylvania law and its definition of marriage. NOM has maintained from the beginning that the actions of Montgomery County Register Wills D. Bruce Hanes have been nothing less than lawlessness. In 1996, the Pennsylvania Legislature duly enacted a state definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman that no single state or county official can contravene.

"This is a victory for marriage. We are pleased that Judge Pellegrini reiterated that Pennsylvania law expressly defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said Brian Brown, NOM President. "The legislature clearly defined marriage in 1996 for Pennsylvania. Now Pennsylvanians should be given the right to vote and to enact a state constitutional amendment so that there will be no further confusion on this issue."

This case could have national implications as similar questions about the roles and responsibilities of local officials have arisen in New Mexico and in other states. Brown also praised Governor Corbett's decisive action to have his administration intervene and stop the lawlessness in Montgomery County.

"The people of Pennsylvania should be grateful to Governor Corbett for his leadership on this issue," continued Brown. "As the chief executive of the state, he properly used his office to uphold the law and stop the potential spread of these rogue actions. Now we ask that he use the influence of his office to have the 'marriage' licenses that were issued declared invalid."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Matille Thebolt (x143), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Montgomery County SSM Hearing Set for Wednesday

Pennsylvania law makes it very clear: marriage is between a man and woman. All faux-'marriage' licenses that were issued to same-sex couples by a rogue county clerk who decided he had the authority to disregard the law should be considered invalid.

Gov. CorbettLawyers are set to meet in a Harrisburg Court for the argument to decide whether an elected Montgomery County clerk has the ability to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Since July, Clerk Bruce Hanes has issued 164 same-sex marriage licenses, but Pennsylvania doesn’t permit civil unions or gay marriage.

Governor Corbett’s administration is leading up this lawsuit, contending that all of the licenses issued to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania are invalid because the law outlines marriage as between one man, and one woman.

“The key question here is, does a local official have the ability to pick and choose which laws they enforce and which laws they disregard,” Nils Frederkisen, General Counsel for the Corbett administration, said.

Governor Corbett spoke to CBS 21’s Sherry Christian last month, and said if the Attorney General won’t defend the laws of Pennsylvania, his administration will. “You can’t pick or choose which laws you want to defend, which laws you don’t want to defend. So at this point, since she has chosen not to defend it, we will defend it, and as I said, the courts will make the determination.” -Local21News

Despite Personal Views, Mayor Remains Committed to Democratic Process

Mayor Larry Keller

We've heard lots of news lately about elected officials sidestepping or ignoring the law completely in order to push same-sex marriage in their states. But to Mayor Larry Kelly, Pennsylvania's marriage law is no different from any other state law. And despite his personal views, he knows his constituents trust him to enforce it.

Philly.com:

...Mayor Larry Keller, citing his duty as an elected official to uphold the law, declined to officiate a same-sex wedding for a couple who had obtained a marriage license in Montgomery County, where such licenses have been issued in defiance of state law since earlier this month.

In a letter to council members last week, Keller said that he did not want to "put New Hope Borough, and myself, at legal risk for breach of my official duties as Mayor" by overseeing the wedding. State law defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

"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

Pennsylvania Attorney General Ignores Rule of Law

Americans may disagree on a whole host of issues, including marriage, but a commitment to the democratic process is critical. Allowing corruption into the system, even if it happens to favor your political view at the time, is detrimental to Americans, and to our nation, long-term:

Kathleen KaneAttorney General Kathleen Kane’s decision to forgo defending Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act has undermined the rule of law in Pennsylvania.

There are plenty of political issues across Pennsylvania and our country about which citizens vigorously disagree: the proper size and scope of the state budget; voter ID regulations; the privatization of retail liquor sales; the definition of marriage. These are just a few of the contentious issues that divide us.

What unites us, however, as Pennsylvanians and as Americans is a commitment to the process by which these political disputes are resolved. Regardless of what side of a controversy we’re on, there is solace in the rule of law — the concept that we are all playing by the same rules, and that those rules will not be arbitrarily changed to fit personal or political agendas.

We submit ourselves to this rule of law, and we expect our elected officials to submit themselves to it. This is a fundamental principle of the American republic. Nothing undermines political comity and stability more than when the rule of law is seen as contingent on the whims of politicians.

And yet this state of instability is exactly where we find ourselves in Pennsylvania due to Kane’s abandonment of our commonwealth’s overwhelmingly approved Defense of Marriage Act. Her actions beg the question: Which Pennsylvania laws are actually laws, and which are just suggestions? Only Kathleen Kane knows. -The Mercury

Read PFI Chief Counsel Randall Wenger's full op-ed here.