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Judge Stops PA Clerk from Granting Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini put a halt today to D. Bruce Hanes, Montgomery County Register of Wills, actions in granting marriage licenses to same sex couples.  

Following the Supreme Court's Windsor decision, Hanes determined that Pennsylvania's DOMA law is invalid and began pursuing a policy of marriage equality.  174 Gay and lesbian couples from across the Commonwealth flocked to Norristown to get legal permission to wed. 

Pelligrini said that Hanes did not have the authority to determine, on his own, that the law was unconstitutional and invalidated all of the same sex licenses issued by Montgomery County. The case will most likely be appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  If the case is solely decided on these grounds it is not likely to be overturned.  If they consider the case in light of the constitutionality of DOMA, it should.

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