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Pa. county to abide by judge’s ruling, will stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Thursday, September 12, 2013
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HARRISBURG, Pa. — A suburban Philadelphia court clerk says he’ll abide by a judge’s order that he stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Matt Rourke, APD. Bruce Hanes

Matt Rourke, AP
D. Bruce Hanes

Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes said Thursday he was disappointed in the order by Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini and is considering whether to appeal.

Hanes says he thinks he’s “on the right side of history” and hopes his actions have helped the cause of marriage equality.

Pellegrini says it’s up to courts to decide whether laws are constitutional, not local government officials.

Hanes began issuing licenses to same-sex couples in July, after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Pennsylvania is the only northeastern state that doesn’t allow either same-sex marriage or civil unions.

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