County official calls PA's marriage law 'suspect'

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 19, 2013 2:45 PM
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(Philadelphia) -- A rogue county clerk is defending his decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses in a legal brief that calls Pennsylvania's marriage law ``arbitrary and suspect.''

About 135 same-sex couples have obtained marriage licenses in Montgomery County since the register of wills decided to issue them last month.

Democrat D. Bruce Hanes calls the state's one-man, one-woman marriage law unconstitutional. His brief also cites the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Republican Governor Corbett's administration has gone to Commonwealth Court to try to stop Hanes. The state Health Department challenge says Hanes' actions could cause serious harm.

In his response, Hanes says those harms aren't specified. He also wants the case moved to the state Supreme Court.

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