Target: Pennsylvania Health Department
Goal: Condemn the Pennsylvania Health Department’s lawsuit against a county clerk for permitting same-sex marriage licenses
Recently, Pennsylvania County Clerk Wills Bruce Hanes announced that he is issuing marriage licenses to all couples regardless of sexual orientation who want to get married in his county. His decision was predicated on its constitutionality as it relates to the recent Supreme Court ruling that nullified the Defense of Marriage Act as well as its consistency with the state Attorney General’s belief that discrimination against same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. However, Pennsylvania’s Republican legislature has sued Hanes to halt his equal treatment of same-sex couples with heterosexual couples. This attack on gay rights and thus human rights by Republican state governments must be condemned and stopped.
While Pennsylvania state law defines marriage as between a woman and a man, it is one of the few states that does not explicitly have a constitutional ban on gay marriage. Many same-sex families have challenged the law in federal court, and Pennsylvania state Attorney General Kathleen Kane has said publicly stated that she will not defend it. Governor Tom Corbett has said that he will defend the marriage law that discriminates against same-sex couples in the place of Kane.
Governor Tom Corbett recently filed a lawsuit that would halt the Montgomery County register from giving gay couples licenses to marry. Hanes has hitherto granted 34 marriage licenses to same-sex couples within the span of a week. The lawsuit by the state was launched in order to obtain a court order that would stop these “illegal” marriages from occurring. As the fight for gay rights unfolds, Hanes’ office has been targeted by the far right, which has launched protests such as “pray-ins” at Hanes’ office. Participants in these protests have asserted that allowing same-sex couples to marry is a “war on children” and represents pure discrimination. Furthermore, the Corbett administration believes that Hanes’ actions will cause unnecessary harm to the public.
The rhetoric used by the far-right and the governor’s administration against Hanes’ actions is despicable and must be condemned. Hanes’ actions are consistent with the principles and rights given to all citizens outlined in the Pennsylvania state constitution, so the marriage discrimination law must be amended. Please sign this petition to condemn the actions of Governor Corbett’s administration and show your support for Hanes in the fight for human rights and marriage equality throughout the United States.
Dear Pennsylvania Health Department and State Legislature,
We condemn you for your recent decision to sue county clerk Wills Bruce Hanes for his decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Hanes’ decision that barring same-sex couples from obtaining marriage license is in line with the Pennsylvania state constitution and should be commended in the fight for social justice for all U.S. citizens throughout the nation with regards to race, sex and sexual orientation.
Your decision to defend the marriage discrimination act in your state denies basic human rights to U.S. citizens and renders them second-class citizens. Please reconsider your decision to deny basic human rights to U.S. citizens and allow Hanes to continue to issue marriage licenses to all couples both heterosexual and homosexual. More county clerks should follow in the steps of Hanes in promoting social equity and human rights.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ryanisland via flickr