MontCo Same-Sex Marriage Hearing Delayed Until 2014

Looks like Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes will have to wait out the holidays to have a Commonwealth Court hear his appeal on the Sept. 12 ruling that banned him from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Intelligencer reports

County First Assistant Deputy Solicitor Josh Stein said the state’s highest court has given the [Montgomery] county until Dec. 2 to file its legal brief in support of its position.

The state then will receive time to file a legal brief detailing why it believes the state Supreme Court should uphold Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini’s Sept. 12 order prohibiting Hanes from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

This means it is unlikely that any hearing or oral argument on the county’s appeal will take place this year.

The appeal states that Pellegrini was wrong by not allowing Hanes to argue the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage in his defense of handing out the licenses, which, in the span from July 23 to the day of the ruling totaled 174.

Next year is a long time to wait — especially for those couples eager to know if the state will continue to recognize their marriages. Maybe something positive will happen with one of the other handful of cases challenging PA’s gay marriage ban. Homo matrimony is spreading like wild fire all around us …