Seeking to Block Marriage Licenses, Pa. Compares Gays to Tweens

The governor's office is looking to block 150 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by a suburban Philadelphia county

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Same-sex marriages are just as legally suspect as a marriage between two 12-year-olds, attorneys for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett argued Wednesday.

Corbett’s office is trying to block over 150 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by a suburban Philadelphia county, claiming in a court filing that they have no “value or legitimacy.” The attorneys cited a 1996 law that prohibits marriage between children by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The licenses were issued by Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes, who says state law is unconstitutional and discriminatory. The state’s Department of Health has brought the case against Hanes, who is scheduled to appear in court next week.

“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’?” the state wrote, according to Philly.com.

Corbett, a vulnerable Republican seeking reelection next year, is also defending the state’s law against same-sex marriage in court after the state attorney general, a Democrat, declined to do so following the Supreme Court’s ruling this year striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

[AP]

19 comments
wrathbrow
wrathbrow

This title is misleading. The licenses are not valid in that state. Don't like it, work to change the law. I'm pro gay marriage, but doing it the legal way.

Also, the comparison to 12 year olds getting married, not the best comparison to make.

ksredden
ksredden

This article is funny. "....seeks to block" How can they "seek to block" what was illegal to begin with? The author of this article is obviously trying to make it sound as if there was something to block. Can't block was wasn't legal to begin with. Duh. And the author knows it. Your tactics are shameful.

Duffman
Duffman

Stay classy Mr. Corbett.

ksredden
ksredden

Hey morons. The Governor is simply stating the facts. GAY MARRIAGE IS BANNED IN PA. Why the witch hunt for a man merely UPHOLDING the law?I guess if someone doesn't approve of your "lifestyle" than they are to be crucified.

livingnotsolarge
livingnotsolarge

oh wow! not even the best comedy shows can make up such fodder. 

TomWind
TomWind

I think that what Mr. Corbitt is saying, is that he only understands homosexual flings, but not longterm relationships.  Could it be because Mr. Corbitt's office has homosexual tendencies that they are ashamed of?  Some people might say so.

JadedCitizen
JadedCitizen

Let's just start a new publication and call it 'The Weekly Whacko'.

Our first profile  is the knuckle - dragger Gov. Corbett:

His profile:

Saying and doing stupid things like comparing gay marriage to 12 year old marriage.

Huh? Isn't this the same guy who stepped into a pile of dung when he tried to intervene on behalf of the Paterno/Sandusky child rape fiasco at Penn State?

Our second profile is the C.O.P of Gilberton, PA - Mark Kessler

Makes and posts videos of himself shooting paper clowns with assault rifle - names of council members taped to said targets: 

Another GOP whack job in a position of authority. Arrest the clown for unauthorized use of city property and send him to trial. Bury him in a blizzard of legal gumbo and ride him out of town on a rail. So he thinks he can flout the law because he doesn't like it? What a tin horn! How proud his family must be to see him implode in a series of unhinged, schizophrenic behavior. If he's lucky his family will still talk to him after the divorce. And how does a 41 year old guy have grandkids?

He should go have to go through a mental health screening before they take his guns. Hey tough guy - one more thing - I'm a rural Democrat who supports the 2nd Ammendment but would like to kick your butt in person after you lose your badge - you know - man to man - no guns! It's cowards like you who are causing the very trouble you rage against. To all folks that agree with me - renounce your NRA membership - they have gone off the rails

What fantasy world do these 2 jerks live in? Post your nominees for next weeks 'Weekly Whacko"

h2co3
h2co3

Our governor cannot see the difference between 12-year olds and consenting adults.  I can't wait until the next election!

DanielJames
DanielJames

OMG would you stupid ignorant right wingers please join the rest of us in the 21st century.  You people are such a joke but no one is laughing about your ignornace, laughing at it yes, about it no!

livingnotsolarge
livingnotsolarge

@ksredden, it not that he is against it. the negative remarks are regarding the statements he makes. being gay and being 12 is not the same. to put it in the same category is kind of, as they say, "cray cray."

freige
freige

@h2co3 The law is on the books defining marriage and the subsequent property and other rights granted by the state.  It has not been invalidated.  

The fact that a government official granted a license against current law because he thinks it unjust is the core of the problem here.  We cannot, no matter how passionate our beliefs are, one or the other, act in official capacities against the law.

This was not a comparison of the legitimacy of adult versus minor relationship, only the lawfulness of the action of granting a license in opposition to established law.

dallas
dallas

@DanielJames, any person who thinks government should be allowed to control which consenting adults can and cannot get married is no true republican.

MLK was a true republican, as was Lincoln. This man is a wolf in sheep's skin...this man dictates who can marry while belonging to a party that calls food stamps socialist.

F the GOP, long live the republican spirit.

bobdolioo
bobdolioo

@freige @h2co3


Challenging laws so they could be brought to court is the entire concept of checks and balances between the judicial and legislative branch. The constitution is first in the order of law. This official is acting in accordance of law if it this law is deemed unconstitutional by the court. Besides that, as a citizen, your are also responsible for adhering to moral standards before the law. We are fortunate to live in a country which was founded on the idea the government and its laws are only valid if they serve the purpose of the people. In this case they do not, so its in our nature as Americans to be defiant. That's what makes this country so great. We shouldn't condemn hem people who make a stand like this.

freige
freige

@dallas @DanielJames what is missed here is not the control of who can relate to whom, rather, what rights a person is granted under state (and federal law).  Here's an example: my widowed mother and I (single)  decide to get married.  State would not allow that, and most people would be creeped out, for sure.  But why would I do that?  She has $500K in retirement funds that if she dies, estate pays tax on, but if I was her husband, it would retain its tax-deferred status until I retire (or marry my daughter). For me, the windfall of deferring that taxation until I retire is HUGE.

Convoluted example, but the point: the state does define what marriage is, and by that definition, who is entitled to the rights said marriage provides.  You just happen to disagree with what the state has currently defined.  Fortunately, you have recourse.  As do those who disagree with your point of view.

freige
freige

@bobdolioo @freige @h2co3 Agree, challenging laws is appropriate.  That is why we vote, why we have a judicial process etc.  Defying existing law, however, for an official sworn to uphold the law, is not proper civil disobedience, which is the case here.

MLKs letter from a Birmingham jail has a very profound explanation of when civil disobedience is proper.  And that would certainly apply to us as individual citizens.  It does not apply to officials acting in an official capacity, however.  And, BTW, civil disobedience often has consequences (like arrest, or censure, or other actions).  We cannot in a civilized society act any which way we choose at any time we choose because we disagree with a law - at least not with impunity.

 The Supremes did not rule this law unconstitutional.  DOMA was ruled unconstitutional because marriage has always been a states-rights issue and DOMA is a federal law.  Prop 8 was not ruled unconstitutional, but was sent back for standing.

I also whole heartedly agree with you as well that I am responsible for moral standards before the law.  And I would counter that law also should also be responsible to moral standards.  There is a wide variance of opinion on what is "moral" - and often competing positions.  Does liberty of one trump the protection of another? Does the rights of one group overpower the rights of others?  This is the dynamic for which checks and balances must be in play.  And there are ALWAYS winners and losers in in that contest.

freige
freige

@Edward_Morgan @freige @dallas @DanielJames I think you hit it right on point.  Equal protection is not absolute, there are compelling interests (and often competing interests) at play in all legislation.

Rather than assume those that oppose same-sex marriage are just creeped out, consider that marriage has been in place for a very long time, and has always been defined between a man and a woman, and primarily for the purpose of procreation and protection of the family unit.  As such, certain rights and privileges have historically been given for thousands of years and universally across cultures.

While our culture has changed such that children can be avoided or aborted, and marriage is not exclusively to those of child-bearing age or ability, the compelling reason to retain marriage and its sanctioned rights for this purpose IS a compelling interest.  Not all will agree it is valid one, of course.

I like the rethuglicans.  Trying to impose their will on those that disagree.  So glad the liberal side doesn't do that.



Edward_Morgan
Edward_Morgan

@freige @dallas @DanielJames  The state has the power to deny the equal protection of the laws only when it has a "compelling" interest.  Creeped out conservatives, crazy governors and even majorities of hateful rethuglicans can't just discriminate against disfavored minorities because it makes them feel better about themselves.  "The arc of history bends toward justice" and the since the  "Loving" and "Lawrence" decisions, justice has been creeping forward.  If this governor want to stand in the way of justice he will end up where he belongs - in the dustbin of history.

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