Southeastern PA

Montgomery County prepared to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Montgomery Co. approves marriage licenses for gay couples

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - Officials in Montgomery County have agreed to issue same-sex marriage licenses, despite a Pennsylvania law that bans the practice.

D. Bruce Hanes, the county's register of wills, said he wants to come down "on the right side of history and the law."

Hanes had been prepared to issue a license Tuesday to two women who contacted him last week.

The women, however, changed their minds following a discussion Tuesday morning with the Americans Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which has a separate lawsuit pending to challenge the state law.

"Had the couple sought the license today, I would have issued it and wished them all the freedom, independence, happiness and rights that our commonwealth's Constitution purports to grant to them," Hanes said.

Lawyer Michael Diamondstein represents the would-be newlyweds, two doctors in their 40s.

Diamondstein said the couple decided "today is not the day," because of fears the marriage would be overturned, but he said they still hope to marry in Pennsylvania.

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Allentown, PA 18102





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