September 12, 2013
Harrisburg – Pennsylvania General Counsel James D. Schultz today issued the following statement following the Commonwealth Court ruling ordering a Montgomery County official to fully comply with Pennsylvania law in issuing marriage licenses.
“The key question in this case has been whether any local official, anywhere in Pennsylvania, has the ability to decide which laws to uphold and which laws to reject based on their own personal legal opinion,’’ Schultz said.
“We appreciate the court’s consideration of the legal and social complexities of this issue, along with the future ramifications – not just in this individual case, but in all types of decision made by public officials.
“We respect the interests and dignity of all the parties involved in this case, but we are a government of laws and it is important that all office holders across the state enforce those laws uniformly.’’
Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini, in his ruling today, wrote that Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes did not have the power to decide on his own whether Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban violates the state constitution.
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