Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Obama's 'Marriage' Lawlessness Spreads to Penn.

Just as President Obama ordered his Department of "Justice" to ignore its constitutional duty to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and as California government refused to uphold voters' decision to protect REAL marriage (leading to the Supreme Court rulings voiding democracy), now Pennsylvania officials are refusing to uphold the people's law regarding same-sex "marriage."

For background, read how activist judges across America are forbidding voters the right to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

UPDATE 5/20/14: Federal judge rules Pennsylvania voters cannot define natural marriage (see article excerpts in UPDATE below)

UPDATE 8/22/13: New Mexico County Clerk Assumes Role of Judge, Initiates Same-sex 'Marriages'

-- From "Pa. officials sue to stop rogue county from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples" by Kathy Matheson, Associated Press 7/30/13

State officials asked a court to stop a rogue county from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Tuesday, nearly a week after a clerk began granting them in violation of Pennsylvania law.

Pennsylvania is the only northeastern state without same-sex marriages or civil unions. [Montgomery County clerk D. Bruce] Hanes began issuing licenses to same-sex couples shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage of Act.

The developments come the same day that Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s office indicated that it would defend the state’s marriage law in a separate legal challenge filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat who supports same-sex marriage, had said earlier this month that she wouldn’t defend the state in that suit because she believes the law to be unconstitutional.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Surprise Marriages in Pennsylvania and Ohio" by Matt Baume, Huffington Post 7/29/13

. . . A small county in Pennsylvania, Montgomery County, has decided to overlook the state's ban on marriage equality and start issuing licenses. Their justification? Preventing LGBT couples from marrying is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The move has thrown everyone -- activists, opponents, elected officials and jurists -- into a state of consternation. Will the state actually recognize the licenses? It's unclear.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Montco presses ahead despite state lawsuit over gay marriage" by Jessica Parks and Angela Couloumbis, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers 7/31/13

. . . Montgomery County said it would defend Hanes. Until a court intervenes, "the Register of Wills Office will continue to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples," County Solicitor Ray McGarry said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleges that Hanes "risks causing serious and limitless harm to the public," citing "administrative and legal chaos" and couples "left to believe erroneously that they have entered into a valid marriage under the law of Pennsylvania."

The lawsuit means even more uncertainty for at least 34 couples who have received same-sex marriage licenses in Montgomery County. Typically, they have from three to 60 days to get a licensed officiant to carry out the weddings and return the certificates to the register of wills.

As of Tuesday afternoon, only six had completed their ceremonies and filed their marriage certificates. Whether those six couples are in fact married depends on whom one asks.

Hanes and the Democratic-led Montgomery County commissioners say the marriages are valid, arguing that the state constitution supersedes the 1996 Marriage Law.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pennsylvania Health Department sues county to stop issuance of marriage licenses for gay couples" by Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 7/30/13

"The clerk's actions are in direct defiance of the express policy of the commonwealth that 'marriage shall be between one man and one woman,'" wrote chief counsel Alison Taylor for the Health Department.

Mr. Hanes announced on July 23 that he would begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples. He was acting on a statement by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane that Pennsylvania's marriage laws are "wholly unconstitutional," leaving it to Mr. Corbett's general counsel, James Schultz, to defend against the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 10 gay couples.

On Tuesday, Ms. Kane's decision prompted a stern four-page letter from Mr. Schultz to her first deputy, Adrian R. King Jr., in which he accused the attorney general of abrogating her duty based on her own personal feelings.

Further, Mr. Schultz said Ms. Kane has placed any lawyer now left to defend the case at a disadvantage and that she has set "a very troubling precedent."

"This has the very real potential to compromise, among other things, the functions of the legislative and judicial branches of our government and the defense of our laws."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Montgomery County becomes ground zero for Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage debate" by Evan Brandt, Montgomery Newspapers 7/28/13

[After the June Supreme Court rulings,] Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, announced she would not defend the Commonwealth’s 17-year-old law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Standing in the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Kane announced that “I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s [law banning same-sex marriage], where I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional.”

It’s a position that resonated with D. Bruce Hanes, Montgomery County’s register of wills. . . .

“Look, I took an oath and swore to uphold the Constitution,” Hanes said, “and to me that law stands in direct opposition to the guarantee of equal rights. Being married is a civil right and the Pennsylvania Constitution says I cannot discriminate in who I provide licenses to.”

Hanes, who is a Democrat and a lawyer, said that given that the language in Pennsylvania’s law mirrors the federal statute the Supreme Court recently struck down, he could not discriminate in issuing marriage licenses without violating his oath to uphold the Constitution.

Likening Hanes to President Obama for “simply ignoring a law if he doesn’t like it,” Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert Kerns issued a statement that noted “regardless of how you feel about it, until the Legislature changes the law or a court says otherwise, it is the law of the commonwealth.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Nationwide Marriage Amendment Puts Republicans to the Test

UPDATE 5/20/14: "U.S. judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban in Pa." by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers

The decision by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III marked the first and most significant to date in a series of court challenges to the state's 1996 ban.

"We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them onto the ash heap of history," Jones wrote in the 39-page opinion. "By virtue of this, ruling, same-sex couples who seek to marry in Pennsylvania may do so, and already married same-sex couples will be recognized as such in the Commonwealth."

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, whose office had declined to defend the law, hailed the groundbreaking ruling.

Lawyers for Gov. Corbett, whose administration had defended the law, said they were reviewing the decision. They have 30 days to appeal.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.