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Pa. county that pioneered same-sex marriage licenses now unable to issue them

Montgomery County in Pennsylvania waiting for the state Supreme Court to lift a ban on same-sex marriage licenses there.
By Frances Burns   |   May 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM   |   Comments

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NORRISTOWN, Pa., May 22 (UPI) -- Montgomery County, which jumped the gun last year on same-sex marriage licenses in Pennsylvania, is now the only county in the state unable to issue them.

The county in suburban Philadelphia remains under a judge's order issued after the state sued it. Frank Custer, the county's communications director, said officials filed an emergency application asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to lift the ban Tuesday.

Gov. Tom Corbett announced Wednesday that he does not plan to appeal U.S. District Judge John Jones' ruling. Jones declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional Tuesday.

Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes issued 174 marriage licenses to same-sex couples between July 24 and Sept. 12 last year, and believes that 118 of those couples actually tied the knot. The county solicitor's office argues that the marriages that were contracted are valid.

The Supreme Court ordered the state Department of Health, the plaintiff in the litigation with Montgomery County, to respond by next Tuesday to the county's application.

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