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W. Pa. mayor officiates wedding of gay men with E. Pa. marriage license

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
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BRADDOCK, Pa. — A Pittsburgh-area mayor has married two men who obtained a license from an eastern Pennsylvania county official who has issued more than 60 licenses to same-sex couples despite a state law that defines marriage as a contract between one man and one woman.

KDKA
John Kandray and Bill Gray

Braddock Mayor John Fetterman tells KDKA-TV he performed the ceremony Monday night because he believes Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act is “a fundamentally unjust piece of legislation.”

The Corbett administration has sued to stop Montgomery County clerk D. Bruce Hanes from issuing more licenses, while that county’s attorneys are defending Hanes’ right to violate a law the official believes is unconstitutional.

John Kandray and Bill Gray, of Pittsburgh, say they’ve been together for 11 years and Gray says they got married to prove their commitment to one another.

When they heard that Montgomery County was issuing licenses to same-sex couples, they went across the state to get one. And then they heard Fetterman was willing to marry them.

Watch are report from KDKA-TV:

Last week, state officials asked a court to stop Montgomery County from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

The petition filed by the Health Department, alleges that Hanes, the register of wills in Montgomery County, “repeatedly and continuously” flouted the law.

At the time the suit was filed, Hanes’ office had granted 34 licenses and registered six same-sex marriages.

County attorneys for D. Bruce Hanes said the Montgomery County clerk has a sworn duty to uphold the Pennsylvania and U.S. constitutions – and the state law banning same-sex marriage violates both, they argued.

They have asked the court to toss out the lawsuit.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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