Judge Halts Renegade Local Official from Ignoring Marriage Law

(Harrisburg, PA) – The Pennsylvania Family Institute applauds the decision today of Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini to stop the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in Pennsylvania.

An era of lawlessness began when Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane refused to defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s marriage law – in clear violation of the duties of her office.   Then, following Kane’s lead, Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Bruce Hanes extended the lawlessness by issuing more than 170 same-sex marriage licenses, again in clear violation of the law.

Judge Pellegrini correctly recognized that individual public officials, like Hanes, are not free to decide for themselves what the law should be or which laws to obey.  This goes against the very nature of our democratic republic, which depends upon the rule of law.

“The important public debate about marriage shouldn’t be bypassed by allowing local officials to bring chaos to our long established definition of marriage in Pennsylvania,” said Randall Wenger, Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Family Institute.

Michael Geer, President of the Pennsylvania Family Institute added, “We are grateful to Gov. Corbett and the Department of Health for standing up to the lawlessness, and that with today’s decision, the rule of law prevailed.”