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Marriage Licenses

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NEWS
August 30, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Corbett administration said its lawsuit seeking to halt same-sex marriage licenses in Montgomery County "would have no direct effect" on the couples who have already received them. In a brief Wednesday, state attorneys said those marriage licenses were never valid, and compared gay and lesbian couples to "12-year-olds" who are also barred from marrying under state law. The state Department of Health and Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes will appear in Commonwealth Court next Wednesday to argue the case.
NEWS
September 14, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Commonwealth Court on Thursday ordered Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes to "cease and desist from issuing marriage licenses" to gay and lesbian couples. President Judge Dan Pellegrini avoided the major controversial issues - the constitutionality of the state's same-sex marriage ban, the status of couples who have already married, and the state attorney general's refusal to defend the ban - and ruled narrowly that Hanes lacked the authority to ignore state law and must immediately stop.
NEWS
May 29, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
A week after same-sex marriage became legal in Pennsylvania, Montgomery County was still waiting for permission from the state Supreme Court to issue marriage licenses. Now the wait is over. D. Bruce Hanes, the register of wills and clerk of Orphans Court, said he would begin granting licenses to gay and lesbian couples Wednesday morning. His office, at 450 Swede St. in Norristown, opens at 8:30 a.m. Last summer, Hanes issued marriage licenses to 174 same-sex couples before the practice was legal.
NEWS
July 26, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Four women, surrounded by a gaggle of reporters and photographers, elected officials, and government workers, smiled and hugged, patting one another on the back. "You're getting married too? Congratulations!" Ellen Toplin had exclaimed. Toplin and her partner, Charlene Kurland of Upper Dublin, had just obtained a marriage license from the Montgomery County register of wills. The other couple, Tamara Davis and Nicola Cucinotta of Paoli, were next in line. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Pennsylvania, but Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes announced Tuesday that he believed the law was unconstitutional and would not enforce it. So, on Wednesday afternoon, two couples who had never met before found themselves in Norristown, sharing a moment of warmth and joy, united by a common struggle.
NEWS
October 21, 2013 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
COLLINGSWOOD Sherry Kilpatrick brought champagne and snapped photos of her longtime friends, Steven Burch and Stephen Drayton, who were the first same-sex couple to apply Saturday for a marriage license at the Collingswood Community Center. Burch, 53, and Drayton, 57, have been together 14 years and plan to marry in a ceremony with other same- sex couples at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill on Saturday. One day after the New Jersey Supreme Court refused Friday to block a lower-court ruling allowing same-sex marriages, 15 couples applied for licenses between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Collingswood.
NEWS
July 13, 2003 | By Gaiutra Bahadur INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Their white stretch limousine, punctuated by a "Just Married" sign, led the way. Newly anointed as the Scheuerman-Stallones, Brent and Steve waved at onlookers piled onto the sidewalks from their perch above the limo's sunroof. Each tilted a glass of champagne against a bright Toronto sky and savored the moment: The Scheuerman-Stallones, riding at the front of a gay pride parade last month, were the embodiment of the successful move to legalize same-sex marriage here. "He's finally made an honest man out of me," Steve shouted to the crowd.
NEWS
August 22, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
About 30 gay and lesbian couples whose marriage licenses may be in jeopardy want to plead their case in a Commonwealth Court hearing over the legality of such licenses issued in Montgomery County. In a petition for leave to intervene, the 32 couples argue that although they agree with the county's legal strategy, they need to personally "defend their marriages and the validity of their marriage licenses from the commonwealth's ongoing discrimination against same-sex couples. " The state Department of Health filed a lawsuit in July asking the court to bar issuance any further licenses.
NEWS
August 14, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
The state repeated its request Monday that a court bar Montgomery County from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, again arguing that the county is acting illegally. The filing by the Health Department was the latest legal volley between the Corbett administration and county Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes, who is defying the state's 1996 Marriage Law. The state is suing Hanes as clerk of Orphans' Court, which issues marriage licenses. "By his own acknowledgment, the clerk is repeatedly, continuously, and notoriously acting in clear derogation of the Marriage Law," the filing said, referring to the statute that defines marriage as "a civil contract by which one man and one woman take each other for husband and wife.
NEWS
August 31, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
  HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett on Thursday said his attorneys used "an inappropriate analogy" in the latest legal brief in a high-profile same-sex marriage case. Corbett was referring to a brief his office's attorneys filed Wednesday in a lawsuit seeking to halt Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In those legal papers, the attorneys argue that "had the clerk issued marriage licenses to 12-year-olds in violation of state law, would anyone seriously contend that each 12-year-old . . . is entitled to a hearing on the validity of his 'license'?"
NEWS
August 1, 2013 | BY BRIAN X. MCCRONE, Philly.com bmccrone@philly.com, 215-854-2267
THE STATE has filed a lawsuit against a Montgomery County official for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Last week, Bruce Hanes, the register of wills, began granting licenses at the county courthouse. The lawsuit, filed yesterday morning by the state Department of Health's chief counsel, asks that the Commonwealth Court immediately force Hanes to "comply with the [Pennsylvania] Marriage Law and to direct the Clerk to immediately cease and desist issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
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NEWS
January 8, 2016
WASHINGTON - The GOP-led Congress sent legislation to President Obama yesterday repealing his signature health law, fulfilling a promise to Republican voters in a presidential election year but inviting a certain veto. The nearly party-line vote in the House was 240-181. The legislation already passed the Senate last year under special rules protecting it from Democratic obstruction, so it goes straight to the White House. Republicans boasted of a signal achievement, saying they were forcing Obama to face up to the failures of his law while illustrating the stark political choices voters face.
NEWS
September 17, 2015
No substitute for showing up Assuming an average class size of 29 students, the 477 Philadelphia classrooms without substitute teachers when schools opened last week meant 13,833 students quickly learning to hate going to school ("Substitute positions unfilled in Phila.," Friday). How much time is needed before the district ends its ill-advised $34 million contract with the firm hired to provide substitutes? |Tom Mooney, Broomall Of bocks at Bok I think the criticism of the beer garden at the former Bok Technical High School is misplaced ("Old school put to new use, but drawing controversy," Sept.
NEWS
September 11, 2015
I FELT THE need to watch "A Man For All Seasons" this weekend. I have four copies of it, three on DVD and one on Jurassic VHS, more a tribute to my forgetfulness than because I necessarily want my living room to look like a TV repair store. Every time I see it for sale, I buy it, only to find clones cluttering my video library. But if you're going to have an overabundance of one particular movie, this is the one to have. I pull it out whenever some high-profile lawyer validates the low opinion so many people have of us, as when Kathleen Kane whines about the old boys' system before she makes her porn dump (which is the one thing she ever did that deserves a high-five)
NEWS
September 10, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bruce Hanes and Kim Davis have a few things in common: Both are the elected officials in charge of marriage licenses in their respective counties. Both have flouted the law when asked to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Both have signature hairstyles. (Davis' Apostolic religion prohibits women from cutting their hair; Hanes' beefy mustache led to his being nominated in 2013 as a Mustached Man of the Year.) In all other respects, however, Montgomery County's register of wills views Davis as "the anti-Bruce.
NEWS
June 20, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III on Wednesday denied a county row officer's request to intervene and appeal his ruling that overturned Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban. Schuylkill County Register of Wills Theresa Santai-Gaffney had asked Jones to halt same-sex marriages in the state until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on the issue. She argued that marriage is for states to decide and said Jones' May 20 ruling - which declared Pennsylvania's marriage ban unconstitutional - left her duties as Schuylkill County's issuer of marriage licenses unclear.
NEWS
May 29, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
A week after same-sex marriage became legal in Pennsylvania, Montgomery County was still waiting for permission from the state Supreme Court to issue marriage licenses. Now the wait is over. D. Bruce Hanes, the register of wills and clerk of Orphans Court, said he would begin granting licenses to gay and lesbian couples Wednesday morning. His office, at 450 Swede St. in Norristown, opens at 8:30 a.m. Last summer, Hanes issued marriage licenses to 174 same-sex couples before the practice was legal.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By Jennifer Lin and Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writers
On the first full day of legalized gay unions in Pennsylvania, same-sex couples lined up outside the city Marriage License Bureau even before the doors opened at 8 a.m. In the dreary corridors of City Hall, the smiles were incandescent. "Congratulations, guys," a guard at the ground-floor security gate cheered as happy pairs made their way to the fourth-floor office. For many, this was a moment they had doubted would happen. Jerry Hofer and Paul Nye, both 58, have been together for 30 years.
NEWS
May 22, 2014
A federal judge's ruling Tuesday that Pennsylvania's 1996 ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional puts the ball back in Gov. Corbett's court. He could settle the matter by not appealing the decision. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III wrote that it's time to discard such laws "onto the ash heap of history. " But that may not be the final word. Gay couples rushing to get marriage licenses after Jones' decision know an appeal could negate their happiness. It is time to give gay couples the ability to enjoy the same legal status as heterosexual couples.
NEWS
May 5, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA A panel of lawyers talked about history and hope Saturday at a Center City meeting organized by the Equality Forum to address big issues facing the LGBT community. There was a sense that the tide is turning as lawyers cited positive momentum since the U.S. Supreme Court last year granted federal benefits to people married in states that have legalized same-sex unions. "The movement now has shifted to the courtroom," said Malcolm Lazin, founder and executive director of the organization.
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