The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

July 30, 2013

State sues to stop issuance of gay marriage licenses

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — HARRISBURG  Pennsylvania officials are asking a court to stop a rogue county from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

The state Health Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Commonwealth Court against D. Bruce Hanes. He oversees the granting of marriage licenses in Montgomery County, just outside Philadelphia.

The lawsuit asks the court to prevent Hanes from giving them to gay couples saying it violates state law. So far, he has issued about three dozen licenses.

Hanes began issuing licenses to same-sex couples last week. He has said he wants to “come down on the right side of history and the law.”

Both Hanes and a Health Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Pennsylvania is the only northeastern state without same-sex marriages or civil unions.