Same-sex marriage licenses still on hold in Montco

Under court order: Register of Wills Bruce Hanes (far right), clerks Drew Albert and Lisa Wayne (center), deputy registrar Helene Sepulveda (right) in '13. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)

NORRISTOWN Montgomery County is still waiting for clearance from the state Supreme Court to resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The county filed an emergency appeal on Tuesday, asking the court to lift an order barring Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes from issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. State attorneys said Wednesday that they are not fighting the county's request.

County officials had hoped permission would come Thursday, but as of 5 p.m. the paperwork still had not come through.

Pennsylvania residents can obtain a license in any county, regardless of where they live. Other counties have issued dozens of licenses since Tuesday afternoon, when a federal judge declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

But Hanes is still subject to a court order from last year, when he flouted that law and issued more than 100 licenses to gay and lesbian couples. A state judge ruled he had overstepped his bounds, and the case is now before the state Supreme Court. - Jessica Parks