PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

More

Centre County Reverses Decision on Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

by Jenn Miller

Centre County officials said Tuesday night they would not be distributing same-sex marriage licenses — despite a federal court decision issued Tuesday declaring a same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional — but officials are now backing off that decision.

Kim Barton, director of Clerk of Orphans’ Court and Register of Wills — which is an elected position — said late Tuesday nothing will change in Centre County based on legal advice and the anticipation that Gov. Tom Corbett will appeal the decision.

“Based on the advice from our state (Register of Wills and Orphans’ Court) Association solicitor and local solicitor, we’re not going to do anything until the appeal process is over,” says Barton. “We’re not going to act upon it until we get the go ahead from our legal counsel.”

However, officials reversed that decision after citizens flooded the office with complaints. Barton said Wednesday that under new legal advice the office will be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“Today everything has changed. There has been no stay issued. There has been no appeal filed. But really legally we cannot refuse anybody, so we are going to start issuing those,” says Barton. “It just all happened so fast yesterday and there are so many things to think about.”

Federal Judge John E. Jones III with the U.S. Middle District Court of Pennsylvania declared Tuesday the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Jones says the ban violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.

“The issue we resolve today is a divisive one. Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage,” Jones writes. “However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection.”

If the United States was unwilling to do away with unconstitutional laws, America would still be a country that is segregated based on race, Jones says.

“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ask heap of history,” Jones writes.

The judge did not issue a stay, which would have prevented the distribution of marriage licenses pending the outcome of an appeal. Corbett’s office says the governor is still reviewing the decision and his office will issue a statement once he makes a decision on how to proceed.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

StateCollege.com

Posts from our partner website StateCollege.com.

Comments

Other posts by StateCollege.com

Herwig’s Austrian Bistro Sets Closing Date

Owner Bernd Brandstatter announced in March that restaurant would be closing between June and August, but the final day of business has been moved up.

Former Penn State Football Player Denies Burglary, Assault Accusations

Spats Cafe Collaboration With Allen Street Grill Set For Grand Opening

Join Onward State: Spring 2019 Application

Want to be a part of the nation’s premier student-run media outlet? Want to have your words read or your pictures seen by hundreds of thousands of readers and social media followers? More importantly –do ya like having fun? Believe it or not, it’s that time again. Onward State is hiring for the spring semester and we’d […]

Power Ranking The Best And Worst Downtown Bar Bathrooms

The last time Onward State power ranked bathrooms, “cesspool” bar bathrooms were excluded out of fairness to campus bathrooms. Now, we’re exploring which restrooms live up to that name and which lovely lavatories rise above.

Send this to a friend