Ben Johnson

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Impeach officials who issue gay ‘marriage’ licenses, refuse to defend marriage laws: PA lawmaker

Ben Johnson
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HARRISONBURG, PA, August 2, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has followed the lead of Barack Obama and Jerry Brown by refusing to uphold the state's law protecting marriage between one man and one woman. At least one legislator thinks it is time she paid for violating her oath of office.

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, has said Kane's actions merit impeachment, because they spread “lawlessness.”

“I think breaking the law is worthy of impeachment,” Metcalfe told local media. “Her duty is to defend the law.

Shortly after her announcement, Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes began issuing marriage licenses to homosexuals, despite the fact that state law forbids such unions. As of Friday afternoon, Hanes had issued 62 marriage licenses to homosexual couples, and 13 of their recipients have completed wedding ceremonies.

“By her example, this Montgomery County official felt emboldened to violate the law also,” Metcalfe said.

He believes Hanes should be impeached, as well. By the laws of the state, Hanes is “charged with carrying out the law of Pennsylvania and this individual breaks the law.”

“Ultimately, I think there might be an impeachment procedure,” he said. “The legislature could remove this individual from office for violating the law.”

Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, instead filed suit to stop the illegal issuing of marriage certificates on Tuesday. His general sounsel, James Schultz, wrote that Attorney General Kathleen Kane's refusal to defend the law "establishes a very troubling precedent" that "will create chaos and uncertainty.”

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AG Kane's chief of staff, Adrian King, sent a letter Tuesday to Schultz calling Kane's defiance “a watershed moment” refusing to enact “discriminatory laws.”

Montgomery County Solicitor Ray McGarry, who is defending Hanes, said the registrar is merely following Kane's opinion not to implement a statute that “she believed was unconstitutional.”

The decision to defend marriage delighted the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, which praised Corbett's action.

“I am encouraged by Governor Corbett’s decision to use his authority to stop the intentional breaking of law by a local elected official,” said Sam Rohrer PPN president. “When two elected officials (Kane and Hanes) or any other, think that they can act above the law, demonstrate political tyranny, and encourage lawlessness, it is critical that the citizens know that they will be held accountable to the law by others in elected office who share the responsibility to ensure that law is upheld by all in public office.”

Already, others have said they are willing to act in violation of settled law. State College, Pennsylvania, Mayor Elizabeth Goreham has said she will perform “marriage” ceremonies for homosexuals, if the couples already have a marriage license.

However, at the moment Hanes is the only clerk issuing the certificates. The annual conference of the Registers of Wills and Clerks of Orphans' Court Association of Pennsylvania adopted a resolution this month agreeing to abide by the law. 

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