Friday, August 9, 2013

Moral Misfeasance?

It seems I have a ringside seat to the latest gay marriage controversy. The Register of Wills here in Montgomery County, PA.  D.Bruce Hanes, has taken it upon himself to start handing out marriage licenses to gay couples in direct contravention of the laws of the Commonwealth.


This was apparently inspired by a statement from Kathleen Kane, the states Attorney General, that she would not defend the existing 1996 law against challenges. Though she made that statement in light of the recent SCOTUS rulings, it not only stretches the reach of those decisions, it flatly contradicts a prior statement she made while a candidate for the office.

"...the attorney general does not have the right to pick and choose which laws he or she enforces. That’s a dangerous proposition..."

 All of this has led to suit being filed by Pennsylvania's Health Department seeking a Writ of Mandamus to force Mr Hanes to comply with the law, which action is being fought by the Montgomery County Solicitors office.

 So we now have a three ring circus going on around here, all of it at the taxpayers expense. Which leaves me with an interesting dilemma. While I support the right to marry whoever you choose, this is not the way to go about it.  Allowing minor public officials to rewrite the laws to suit themselves should be anathema to all of us.

Ms Kane was right the first time: "That’s a dangerous proposition"

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