DEVELOPMENTS IN THE LAW: The fallout continues throughout the United States over the Supreme Court's recent decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor. In Pennsylvania, following the June 26, 2013 decision, Montgomery County Register of Wills, D. Bruce Hanes, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Pennsylvania Department of Health then applied for an injunction against Mr. Hanes asking the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court to issue an Order preventing any further licenses being issued. The Commonwealth Court granted the injunction on September 4, 2013 preventing any further licenses from being granted to same-sex couples, but the decision did not address the validity of any of the licenses that had already been granted. The case is now before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and there are two federal cases pending in Pennsylvania as well. A copy of the decision can be found here. Being situated in the heart of Montgomery County, the Weber Gallagher Family Law Practice Group should be contacted for further questions or comments.
COMMENTARY: Dan Clifford has recently spoken in multiple venues on the topic of the United States Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision in Windsor, and the subsequent litigation which has erupted in Montgomery County over Register of Wills, D. Bruce Hanes issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Dan was interviewed on KYW News Radio, which can be found here. Dan was also interviewed by Brad Siegel on KYW Radio on July 30, 2013 and he was quoted in a Times Herald article by Jessica DeHuff titled “Same-Sex Marriage Battle Lines Drawn,” on July 31. Dan was further interviewed and quoted on Lawyers.com involving a discussion of Commonwealth Court’s order to Montgomery County’s register of wills to cease issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. As Dan noted, the real test will come when one of the already married couples attempts to flex their marriage rights, perhaps through filing joint Pennsylvania tax returns, or asserting spouse’s rights in a hospital setting.
IN THE NEWS: Lynne Gold-Bikin was honored by KWY News Radio 1060 on June 25, 2013 and presented with one of five “Women’s Achievement” awards for 2013. This award is given to women whose contributions and accomplishments serve as an example in the community to help all women advance their careers, businesses and lives. Additional information can be found here. Lynne was also recently featured in a story by the Philadelphia Inquirer on her vast marriage certificate collection and the newest addition to her collection of Pennsylvania’s first same-sex marriage certificate. The story can be found here.
Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact the Family Law Practice of Weber Gallagher.
IN THE COMMUNITY: Weber Gallagher's Family Law Practice recently participated in a 5K race hosted by the Women's Center of Montgomery County to raise awareness for domestic violence victims. The race, which was held on September 26, 2013 was held in memory of Julianne Siller, a teenage victim of domestic violence who was tragically killed earlier this year.
Sara L. De Long