Judge Denies Schuylkill County Register of Will’s Petition to Appeal Marriage Equality in PA

Theresa Santai-Gaffney has taken steps to appeal Pennsylvania's recent marriage equality ruling. Photo by Republican & Herald.

Theresa Santai-Gaffney’s steps to appeal Pennsylvania’s recent marriage equality ruling have been denied. Photo by Republican & Herald.

Last week I reported that Schuylkill County Register of Wills Theresa Santai-Gaffney made a move to halt same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania when she drafted a petition urging Governor Corbett to appeal the ruling. Well today I’m happy to report she’s been stopped dead in her tracks. Yesterday, Judge John Jones III denied her request to intervene, stating that her “deep personal disagreement” with his decision “doesn’t make her a stand-in for the state.” More from Bloomberg:

“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,” Jones wrote.


Santai-Gaffney, the county register of wills, argued that the decision made the state of marriage law and the scope of her duties unclear.

"Nothing could be further from the truth,'' Jones wrote, saying the decision was clarified in a notice issued by the state Department of Health to clerks that handle marriage licenses.

As I mentioned before, Governor Corbett has 30 days to appeal Judge Jones original ruling. If my calculations are correct, today is exactly 30 days from the May 20 decision. Looks like marriage equality is here to stay in PA!

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  • billmedicare

    Flamers. Hating these low life despicable human beings more and more every day

  • locustst

    Lawyers, please correct any mistakes in logic that follow:

    I’m not sure the lack of a Corbett appeal means gay marriage in PA is a done deal. If the Supreme Court were to decide that state-level, anti-gay marriage legislation is not, as Jones contends, unconstitutional, wouldn’t it be the case that similar legislation could return to the books? Realistically/politically I’m not sure how likely a PA DOMA 2.0 would be, however I think it’s still a legal possibility pending SCOTUS’s decision.