Judge promises speedy response in same-sex marriage license case

Sept. 4, 2013 at 5:37 PM

NORRISTOWN, Pa., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania judge said he would rule quickly after hearing arguments Wednesday regarding issuance of state marriage licenses to same-sex-couples.

Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini will rule on a case a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act were unconstitutional. Pellegrini is hearing a case filed by the state health department, in which Montgomery County, Pa., Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes, 66, began issuing 165 marriages to same-sex couples starting July 24.

State attorneys argued Hanes violated a 1996 state law specifying marriage as a civil contract between a man and a woman.

Hanes began issuing the licenses to same-sex couples after state Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she could not defend the law, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said.

Hanes has become a gay rights hero for granting the marriage licenses, NBC News said, but Hanes noted: "I don't see myself as a hero. Some people say I've broken the law, which I may have done, but I've broken an unconstitutional law."

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Russia says missiles aimed at Syria did not land in Iran
Tunisian democracy advocates win Nobel Peace Prize
Captive orca breeding banned at California's SeaWorld
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy drops bid for speaker
WikiLeaks offering $50K for video of Afghan hospital bombing