The Pennsylvania clerk ordered last month by a judge to stop
issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples appealed the
order on Tuesday.
Montgomery County Register of Wills Bruce Hanes had issued 174
marriage licenses to gay couples since July before he was ordered to
cease. A 1996 Pennsylvania law excludes gay couples from marriage.
Republican Governor Tom Corbett sued to block Hanes from issuing
Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini said in his order that
Hanes did not have the authority to decide the issue on his own, the
Montgomery County Democratic officials said they are appealing the
ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Pennsylvania is one of several states where marriage equality
advocates are attempting to leverage a June Supreme Court ruling
knocking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to expand the number
of states where gay couples can marry. Others include Virginia,
Hanes acted after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a portion of
the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Pennsylvania Attorney General
Kathleen Kane said in a statement that her office could not defend
the ban in a separate case because the law was unconstitutional.