facebook
twitter
search
search

Pa. officials: Same-sex marriage licenses issued in state not valid

Aug. 29, 2013 at 1:09 AM

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Marriage licenses issued to gay and lesbian couples are as meaningless as those issued to 12-year-olds, Pennsylvania officials said in a legal brief Wednesday.

The brief was filed in a lawsuit brought by the state Department of Health against D. Bruce Hanes, the registrar of wills in Montgomery County, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Hanes began granting licenses to same-sex couples July 24, saying the state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.

The state argued in its brief 32 of the 154 same-sex couples who have received marriage licenses should not be allowed to intervene in the litigation.

The brief said the couples have no standing: "Had the clerk issued marriage licenses to 12-year-olds in violation of state law, would anyone seriously contend that each 12-year-old ... is entitled to a hearing on the validity of his 'license'?"

The couples should file a federal lawsuit challenging the Pennsylvania law, if they want to overturn it, the brief said, arguing the lawsuit is about a single issue: "whether a local official may willfully disregard a statute based on his personal legal opinion that the statute is unconstitutional."

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett opposes same-sex marriage. The Republicans also hold majorities in both houses of the state Legislature.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Topics: Tom Corbett
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
'Serial stowaway' arrested again at Chicago's O'Hare, Midway airports
Maine man dead after shooting firework off head, police say
Greeks vote overwhelmingly to reject creditors' bailout
Third disturbance in four days erupts at Arizona prison
Two killed by police gunfire in 2 separate Central Texas shootings