HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania judge is stopping a suburban Philadelphia court clerk from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, saying it was a clear violation of his legal authority.
Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini today issued an order that said Montgomery County Register of Wills Bruce Hanes didn’t have the power to decide on his own whether the same-sex marriage ban violates the state constitution.
Hanes issued four more licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 174.
The state Health Department took him to court after he began issuing them in July. That was after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and state Attorney General Kathleen Kane called the Pennsylvania ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.