The Pennsylvania Health Department has filed a petition against Montgomery County Register of Wills, D. Bruce Hanes, who began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples last week.
According to a report on the Associated Press, the complaint states that Hanes' "actions interfere with the agency's administrative responsibilities and would likely lead to illegal claims for benefits."
Montgomery County Solicitor, Ray McGarry, in a statement, said, “While it comes as no surprise that the Corbett Administration has filed an action seeking to enjoin marriage equality in Montgomery County, the petition filed today in Commonwealth Court by the state Department of Health has serious flaws. Montgomery County will be filing a response shortly. In the meantime, the Register of Wills office will continue to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”
As previously reported on Patch, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said, "she could not ethically defend the state against a federal lawsuit seeking to over turn Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage."
In a report in the Associated Press, Pennsylvania "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."
County Commissioners Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards called the decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses a step toward equality in Montgomery County, in a report on Patch.
Republican Commissioner Bruce Castor said, "People responsible for enforcing that law must do so unless the law is changed or a court declares the law invalid.”
Montgomery County has issued approximately three dozen same sex marriage licenses, according to a report on NewsWorks.com.
Pennsylvania is the on northeastern state that does not allow same sex marriages nor acknowledges civil unions.