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Candidate for register of wills won't sign same-sex marriage docs

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 16, 2015 9:33 AM
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FILE PHOTO: In this July 24, 2013 file photo Ellen Toplin, right, and Charlene Kurland show their new marriage license at a Montgomery County office. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Norristown) --  An ordained minister running for register of wills in southeastern Pennsylvania says she won't sign-off on same-sex marriage certificates, but won't obstruct couples from getting the documents. 

Sharon Valentine-Thomas, currently the mayor of Pottstown, is the Republican challenger to D. Bruce Hanes, the Democrat incumbent register of wills in Montgomery County. 

Hanes made headlines by granting same-sex marriage licenses before it was legal in Pennsylvania

Valentine-Thomas says her conscience will not allow her to sign such documents but says, "I am not an obstructionist and will not force my values on others.'' 

Instead, if elected she plans to seek court approval to accommodate her beliefs by having her deputies sign such documents.

She says Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for five days for refusing to issue the licenses, has a similar accommodation.  

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