Montco to ignore state law, issue same-sex marriage licenses

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Montgomery County is poised to become the first in Pennsylvania to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Credit: Metro file photo

Montgomery County is poised to become the first county in Pennsylvania to issue same-sex marriage licenses despite commonwealth law that bans such legal recognition.

D. Bruce Hanes, Montgomery County’s register of wills, was prepared to issue a license to a lesbian couple to be married Tuesday, but the would-be newlyweds decided against going through with the ceremony at the last minute due to a pending lawsuit seeking to overturn Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Times Herald reports.

Hanes told the Norristown paper he discussed the license with the county’s legal team after the two women approached him last week about getting married.

“Based upon the advice of (my solicitor), my own analysis of the law and mindful of the attorney general’s belief that Pennsylvania’s marriage laws are unconstitutional, I decided to come down on the right side of history and the law and was prepared to issue a license to the couple,” Hanes said.

The American Civil Liberties Union on July 9 filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage.

Hanes indicated he would be willing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples who do not want to wait for the lawsuit’s resolution.



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