US: Pennsylvania judge rejects attempt to appeal against same-sex marriage

Nick Duffy June 18, 2014
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A Pennsylvania judge has rejected an attempt by a county clerk to appeal against same-sex marriage in the state.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Pennsylvania following a ruling by Judge John Jones on May 20.

It was cemented as law when the state’s Governor, Tom Corbett, refused to appeal, alongside the Attorney General.

However, desipite the law already being in effect, Schuylkill County clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney had earlier this month sought permission to file an appeal, claiming that she had standing to appeal as the ruling had made the scope of her duties unclear.

Finding against her, Judge Jones ruled that her “deep personal disagreement” with same-sex marriage did not give her any standing to act on behalf of the state.

He wrote: “If the highest elected official in the commonwealth chooses to abide by our decision, it defies credulity that we would permit a single citizen to stand in for him to perfect an appeal.

“There is nothing remotely ambiguous about how Santai-Gaffney must perform her duties relative to issuing marriage licenses.

“At bottom, we have before us a contrived legal argument by a private citizen who seeks to accomplish what the chief executive of the commonwealth, in his wisdom, has declined to do.”

In his original ruling striking down the same-sex marriage ban, Judge Jones wrote: “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”

Earlier today it was reported that a number of district judges in York County had simply stopped performing marriages altogether, following the ruling.

Related topics: appeal, ban, Civil partnerships, clerk, county, Employment, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, john jones, judge, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, Pennsylvania, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, US, wedding

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