Essential Pittsburgh
4:44 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Montgomery County Marriage Licenses Challenged in Court

A clerk in Montgomery County has been issuing marriage licenses to LGBT couples since July, in defiance of state law.  The official was challenged in court today.
A clerk in Montgomery County has been issuing marriage licenses to LGBT couples since July, in defiance of state law. The official was challenged in court today.
Credit Doug Muth / Wikipedia

Officials in Montgomery County have issued more than 100 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and currently Pennsylvania has a law that deems same-sex marriage illegal.

The question many are asking is what will happen to these marriage licenses? Jules Lobel, a constitutional law Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, attempts to give some insight on the marriage licenses.

The presumed belief is that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will have to eventually resolve the issue and Professor Lobel says as of right now, one major question is why the case is being presented by the PA Health Department.

“It’s like the Health Department writing speeding tickets,” says Lobel.

He also points out that the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision sets a precedent that the federal government should technically honor the marriage licenses until the courts rule otherwise.

He says the two possible solutions to the case are that the government will either amend the law or strike down the licenses. But even without a ruling the Montgomery County case is already making a big impact. Lobel says the situation reflects an overall trend that is not only occurring in Pennsylvania but across the country.