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A Pennsylvania clerk has been ordered to stop issuing “marriage” licenses to homosexual couples, but the state may pay a future price for his actions.

In July, Montgomery County official D. Bruce Hanes decided unilaterally that state law barring homosexual marriage was unconstitutional and began issuing marriage licenses to “gay” couples. On Thursday Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini issued a ruling barring any elected official from doing so.

“Unless and until either the General Assembly repeals or suspends the Marriage Law provisions or a court of competent jurisdiction orders that the law is not to be obeyed or enforced, the Marriage Law in its entirety is to be obeyed and enforced by all commonwealth public officials,” Pellegrini wrote.

Leading up to yesterday’s ruling, Hanes had issued licenses to scores of same-sex couples. OneNewsNow asked Diane Gramley of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania about the status of those couples who obtained licenses and did marry.

“That’s the issue that we now find ourselves in. We now have 174 same-sex couples who have obtained marriage licenses,” she points out. “[Some] have not followed through and actually gotten – quote, unquote – ‘married,’ but those who have gone through and gotten married, the fear is that they now have standing and then they can sue. So there may well be another lawsuit challenging our Defense of Marriage Act.”

So according to Gramley, it appears that one lower-level official – Hanes – has opened a can of worms by his actions.

“Bruce Hanes absolutely has done that,” she states. “And he was just following the lead of our Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who refused to defend our Defense of Marriage Act when the ACLU first sued at the beginning of July.”

That case is still pending in court. Gramley says the situation is like a soap opera drama where one just stays tuned for the next episode.

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