July 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Pa. county sued over marriage licenses
Wills D. Bruce Hanes, Pennsylvania, gay news, gay marriage, same sex marriage, marriage equality, Washington Blade

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Registrar of Wills Wills D. Bruce Hanes (Photo by Cheltenham Democrats)

NORRISTOWN, Pa.—The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Montgomery County Registrar of Wills D. Bruce Hanes to stop him from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“The clerk’s actions are in direct defiance of the express policy of the commonwealth that ‘marriage shall be between one man and one woman,’” Alison Taylor, chief counsel for the state Department of Health, wrote as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Hanes on July 23 began to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced she would not defend the commonwealth’s statutory gay nuptials ban in a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union filed. Hanes told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette his office has thus far issued 34 marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Gov. Tom Corbett also on Tuesday announced he would defend Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban against the ACLU lawsuit.

State Reps. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) and Stephen McCarter (D-Montgomery County) plan to formally introduce a same-sex marriage bill once Pennsylvania lawmakers reconvene in Harrisburg next month.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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