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Pennsylvania

Attorneys compare gay couples to 12-year-old kids in brief opposing gay marriage

Thursday, August 29, 2013

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Marriage licenses given to same-sex couples in the state are invalid because the couples were barred from marrying, just like 12-year-olds, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s attorneys said Wednesday.

Corbett’s administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to block same-sex marriage licenses in suburban Philadelphia, where Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes has issued more than 150 to gay and lesbian couples since July 24.

Gov. Tom Corbett (R-Pa.)

State attorneys said in a court filing on Wednesday the gay marriage licenses have no “value or legitimacy” and can’t be defended in court. They compared gay and lesbian couples to children, who can’t marry because a 1996 law says marriage is between a man and a woman.

“Had the clerk issued marriage licenses to 12-year-olds in violation of state law, would anyone seriously contend that each 12-year-old … is entitled to a hearing on the validity of his ‘license’?” the state wrote, reported to the Philly.com.

The state Department of Health brought the case against Hanes.

Hanes, who says the state law is unconstitutional and discriminatory, is scheduled to appear in Commonwealth Court next week in the case.

More than 30 gay and lesbian couples that received marriage licenses from Hanes say a ruling against him could invalidate their marriages, and they’ve sought to participate in the case.

The state opposes their participation and their efforts to defend what it calls their “purported marriage licenses.” It said the gay and lesbian couples should file their own lawsuits or wait to see what happens with a federal challenge to the state’s marriage law.

“This case is about one thing: whether a local official may willfully disregard a statute based on his personal legal opinion that the statute is unconstitutional,” the state’s lawyers wrote.

The Commonwealth Court last week laid out the topics to be argued at the Sept. 4 hearing on the marriage licenses issued by Hanes. It wants lawyers to focus on whether the court has jurisdiction, given that Hanes is a judicial officer.

Other questions are whether issuing marriage licenses is a judicial act and whether the constitutionality of the state’s marriage law can be raised as a defense.

Also at issue are whether the Department of Health has standing to sue, and, if not, the effect of Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s delegation of defense of the law to the governor’s legal staff.

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56 more reader comments:

  1. Hey being gay does not equate children. The homophobes are the ones out there playing pretend o god

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 8:09am
  2. “They compared gay and lesbian couples to children, who can’t marry because a 1996 law says marriage is between a man and a woman.”

    So two adult same-sex couples are no longer adults if they marrry? HUH?

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 8:22am
  3. I can´t believe those bureaucrats are wasting tax payer money to fight gay marriage. Im sure there are more important issues to put that money towards, like education

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 8:33am
  4. Perhaps Missy if they put the money towards education the next generation wouldnt find it necessary to descriminate.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:12am
  5. Another idiot?! WTF?! How are they breeding?!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:19am
  6. #Tyrannical #Selfloathen #Bigot #HetroSupremist

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:45am
  7. how does he fit his head THAT far up his ass?

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 10:04am
  8. So Gov. Douche hired Lawyer Douche… not a shock. Their “kind” tend to stick together.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 10:22am
  9. Funny, I always compare anti-gay activists to children, whining out loud because the world doesn´t cater to their every whim.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:13am
  10. I´d call him an Ahole but that would be suggesting he has a valid purpose. He´s a really big spot on someone´s bottom that they can´t reach to put a Bandaid on it.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:15am
  11. People like this just make me laugh, they have nothing better to do than sit around and find new ideas on why my marriage isnt legal.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:19am
  12. Yes, Sarah Richards, this doofus is the governor of MY state. Blah!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:28am
  13. Since he became gov he has troded on everything that don´t make him and his friends richer. I look at this way if my attorney general not going to help me in the endevor then why even try to fight it. The attorney general is your lawyer part of the state government.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:31am
  14. Corbett is a disgusting character and I am ashamed that he heads my state government. Why do these people persist and oppose what is right, correct and just? Corbett is on the wrong side of history and is fighting something that is GOING TO HAPPEN! Also this comment is insulting but typical from this administration and they are not serious about speaking rationally about most any topic where they are challenged.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:34am
  15. So, Neanderthals didn´t go extinct after all, they evolved into Republicans

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:37am
  16. I am lost for words at his ignorance and stupidity.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:38am
  17. Actually, that is a bit harsh on Neanderthals -

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:39am
  18. Embarrassing, I didn´t vote for him. He de-funds schools so he can use our resources to pay for THIS?!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:41am
  19. He would get on real well with the dick-head who may be our next Prime Minister come Saturday week

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:44am
  20. How about we give Corbett a one-way ticket to Australia?

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:46am
  21. Democratic Candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania 2014
    Needs Your Support to Reform Marijuana Laws!

    Hanger: Legalize Marijuana by 2017
    by Nick Field

    John Hanger, a Democratic candidate for Governor and former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, called for big changes to Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws Tuesday.

    “I am calling for immediately allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, reducing the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a summary offense similar to a traffic ticket by 2015, and finally regulating and taxing marijuana use by 2017 if the previous reforms are successful and monitoring the experience in states that have legalized marijuana use,” said Hanger.

    His pro-legalization stance cements his status as the most progressive Democrat on the issue; he is the first candidate to release a detailed policy position about it.

    According to Hanger, his three-step policy would reduce overcrowding in prisons, lessen racial discrimination in marijuana arrests, and ultimately save the taxpayers money.

    The gubernatorial hopeful noted that marijuana offenses make up 46% of all drug arrests, and that 88% of those arrests are from possession. African Americans, he added, are 5 times more likely to be arrested for possession despite rates of usage matching other ethnic groups. Ultimately, Hanger portrayed it as a fiscal issue that could bring the state much needed revenue.

    He’s running up against public opinion on the issue of full legalization. A Franklin & Marshall poll in May found that, although the idea has gotten more popular over the past decade, registered voters oppose full marijuana legalization 54% to 38%. Cross tabs are not available on F&M’s website, so it’s not clear the degree to which registered Democrats differ from the general election on the issue.

    But a whopping 82% said the supported medical marijuana use, versus 16% who oppose it.

    “Regulating and taxing marijuana could bring at least $24 million a year to state coffers, revenue that could be directed to enforcing other laws and incarcerating real criminals,” concluded Hanger.

    So far, Hanger is the only gubernatorial candidate to speak up so passionately on the topic of drug reform. Whether other candidates will join him or the issue will continue to be seen as a political liability remains to be seen.

    http://www.politicspa.com/hanger-legalize-marijuana-by-2017/49502/

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:48am
  22. Lisa Carol Flowers, he is your problem, we quit being a penal colony about 150 years ago…:)

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:51am
  23. Education is the biggest threat to repressive regimes – eg the Taliban in Afghanistan, NO education for females.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:53am
  24. I note that Corbett is wearing a yellow “power” tie – that is so nineties

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:55am
  25. But, Denis…. I want him to play “Survivor – Australia”!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:55am
  26. By this reckoning are all 12 year old Gay?

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:56am
  27. So two consenting same sex adults wanting to marry is on the same level as two children wanting to marry according to this elected government official? Who is trying to marry children anyway? As a PA resident still unable to marry my partner of 17 years, my head is spinning at how weak his argument is. But I am also hopeful that if this is the best he can come up with then I should be thrilled.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:57am
  28. OK, Lisa, which Aussies should he meet first – spiders (10 venomous species) snakes (top 13 most venomous in the world) crocodiles, (top predator, we lost another tourist last week, not kidding) or the organisers of the Gay and Lesbian mardi gras :)

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:01pm
  29. All at once would make exciting reality TV, Denis!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:06pm
  30. You wouldn´t want to blink, though – crocs are scarily fast, even faster than weeping angels

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:08pm
  31. he needs to grow up

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:20pm
  32. Something to watch. Several outcomes are possible.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:34pm
  33. And the stupidity just keeps coming.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:36pm
  34. I can compare an apple to an orange. It doesn´t mean anything since they´re both different.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:44pm
  35. Have you ever wanted to hand someone some toilet paper after they say something so they can wipe the shit off, that just spilled out of their mouths.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 1:11pm
  36. Stupid is as stupid says.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 1:46pm
  37. Corbett´s Pennsylvania is not my Pennsylvania.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 1:51pm
  38. Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania Governor, Sinks To 36 Percent Approval

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 2:31pm
  39. they sure haven´t learned the concept of filtering in order to prevent foot from inserting in mouth. I guess he will learn the hard way next year.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 2:48pm
  40. The GOP are a bunch of children trying to waste time, money and effort on this crap.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 2:51pm
  41. Disrespectful and ignorant. He (and people like him) are just grasping at straws, because they don´t want to admit that the law IS unconstitutional.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 3:59pm
  42. And I´m going to throw a 12 year old fit until I get what I deserve! I didn´t ask to be born gay, you know?

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:01pm
  43. Another Republican bigot elected by dumb people.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:08pm
  44. Doesn´t deserve any atention

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:19pm
  45. I am not 12 but I do believe the PA law is unconstitutional. Conseidering that the US Supreme Court even said CA prop 8 was unconstitutional. Wake up and smell the coffee LGBT´s have rights to.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:21pm
  46. Should be recalled. Hateful Republican as usual.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:23pm
  47. Wow! If this is true, that would make him a surly two year old in soiled diapers!! Just saying……

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:29pm
  48. O.o The things people come out with over there sheesh

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:50pm
  49. The opposition is always going to say things for shock value. Is the way to get famous, say crazy things! Anyone can do it!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:00pm
  50. Like the 12 year olds Sandusky molested & Corbett was supposed to be investigating him after Gricars disappearance but instead took campaign for governor contributions from Sandusky. Are we like THOSE 12 year olds, Tom? Enjoy your final year as governor of PA, we´re voting you out.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:10pm
  51. Why da hell am I paying so much in taxes if i´m only 12, geesh

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:59pm
  52. Gee that´s going to work!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 6:03pm
  53. shite!!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 6:24pm
  54. another nut the world cud go without

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 6:24pm
  55. Thank you Dr. Don´t Know Shit !!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 6:27pm
  56. Sigh…guess he has never known gay couples or he would know differently.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 6:53pm