Judge Halts MontCo Marriage Licenses

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.  Gay and lesbian couples from across the Commonwealth flocked to Norristown to get legal permission to wed.  174 couples did so.

Pelligrini said that Hanes didn’t 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.  I’m assuming the case will be appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  If they decide the case solely on these grounds it isn’t likely to be overturned.  If they consider the case in light of the constitutionality of DOMA it should get overturned.

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