Gay Marriage

Status of New Pa. Gay Marriages Unclear

Judge ordered clerk to stop issuing licenses, but there's already 174 out there

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A Pennsylvania judge's order stopping a suburban Philadelphia court clerk from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples leaves their legal status unclear, with an appeal possible and other legal actions pending or in the works.

Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes said Thursday he was disappointed but would comply with the decision by Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini. Hanes said he thinks the 174 licenses he handed out are legally valid.

"I believe they are … but I can't make that decision," he said.

Pellegrini said 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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