York County District Judges have a change of heart regarding weddings
Since a Federal Judge overturned a ban on same-sex marriages last month, several judges are no longer performing wedding ceremonies.
David Satterlee and Will Guntrum were the first couple to pick up their marriage license in York County.
Satterlee says, “You wait and wait for years and then it happens all of a sudden.”
After 13 years together, their decision to say “I-do” was easy.
Satterlee says, “It seems normal and natural and the kind of thing to do”
But that’s not the case for at least five of the 19 District Judges who no longer officiate weddings in York County.
Satterlee says, “Their decisions are going to be remembered and remembered negatively in the long run.”
According to the State’s statute on domestic relations, a justice, judge or district justice are authorized to perform weddings. FOX 43 legal analyst, Steve Breit says they’re not required to.
Breit says, “They can opt out and decide not to perform marriages. It can be for scheduling reasons, maybe even personal reasons.”
Breit says judges won’t go on record with their reasons why.
He says, “The rules of conduct governing magisterial district judges would prohibit them from expressing the views and making them public.
There are over 300 magisterial district judges in the state. Breit says he does not believe their decisions not to marry others will reflect precedence on the matter. According to the Administrative Offices of York County and Pennsylvania Courts, there no public record of who will or will not perform ceremonies.