Montgomery County To Issue Same Sex Marriage Permits - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Montgomery County To Issue Same Sex Marriage Permits

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. -

Leaders in Montgomery County say that they're ready to go against the state and help couples pursue their dreams of marriage. But how do they plan to make that happen?

County leaders here say they want to be on the right side of history and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples that want them. But the first couple that actually would have received one of those licenses backed out, fearing the legal road ahead.

The first same sex marriage license in Pennsylvania was to be shared with the world from the steps of the Montgomery County courthouse Tuesday, before a lesbian couple backed out at the last minute. Their attorney says the couple worried the license could be challenged on procedural grounds.

State law restricts marriage to one man, one woman, but the county Register of Wills says he would issue the license anyway, to be on the right side of history.

County commissioners agree.

"We made it clear that the register would issue the license to them or anyone else who would come before him for the license," says Commissioner Josh Shapiro.

The county is suggesting it will move ahead with issuing same-sex marriage licenses as the ACLU pushes its legal challenge to state law.

"We think that this is clearly an issue in flux. We think this is clearly a murky issue. In that case Montgomery County is stepping in and standing out, speaking out firmly in saying that we support marriage equality.

"We're again moving the conversation in the right direction. And I hope that it continues to go in that direction," says Commissioner Leslie Richards.

A county source told me this afternoon that the ACLU actually contacted the couple and urged them to pull out of the pursuit of marriage license as their legal case goes forward. But the ACLU denies that took place. However, we have learned that the couple will continue trying to find a way to make this happen some other way.

We reached out to the couple, but their attorney would not make them available to us today.

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