The landmark gay marriage hearing begins Wednesday in the Capital City. For two months, an elected court clerk in the Philadelphia suburbs has been giving PA marriage licenses to same-sex couples in a state where it’s banned.
The hearing at Commonwealth Court is a lawsuit filed by Governor Tom Corbett’s Health Department against a Montgomery County Clerk. It’s up to the court to decide whether the clerk has added Pennsylvania to the growing list of states that have legalized same-sex marriages, or whether he has been acting illegally.
D. Bruce Hanes is the Montgomery County Register of Wills. He’s issued marriage licenses as part of his duties at clerk since late July. This began shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out portions of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). So now the legality of the more than 150 licenses Hanes has handed out remains a question from those both for and against same sex marriage in PA.