PA lawyers: same-sex licenses risk serious harm

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 12, 2013 3:44 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- A new legal filing by the Corbett administration says a county clerk's decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples ``risks causing serious and limitless harm'' in Pennsylvania and beyond.

State lawyers have filed a brief in Commonwealth Court that fleshed out the Health Department's legal claim against Bruce Hanes. He's the Montgomery County orphan's court clerk who has issued more than 100 such licenses.

The brief says it's Hanes' duty to follow state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and county officials who flout the law ``may be guilty of a misdemeanor for each act of neglect or refusal.''

Hanes began issuing marriage licenses after state Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced she wouldn't defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage in a federal lawsuit.

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