social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Topics In the News
Pennsylvania County Clerk Ordered to Cease Issuing Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 09/12/13
Last updated on: 05/22/14
Bookmark and Share

D. Bruce Hanes on the Rachel Maddow show.

On September 12, 2013, Pennsylvania state judge Dante Pelligrini ordered Montgomery County Registrar of Wills D. Bruce Hanes to cease issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Hanes, who has issued 174 marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, contended that the law prohibiting same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania is unconstitutional. Judge Pelligrini, however, ruled that Hanes had "failed to comply with his mandatory ministerial public duty" under the marriage law.

The decision came after considering more than 500 pages of legal briefing and a hearing on September 4.

The judge concluded that "A clerk of courts has not been given the discretion to decide . . . whether the statute he or she is charged to enforce is a good idea or bad one, constitutional or not. Only courts have the power to make that decision."

Pelligrini did not address either the constitutionality of the marriage law, which is under challenge in federal district court, nor the validity of the same-sex marriages that have been performed as a result of Hanes's issuance of licenses.

In his opinion, Pelligrini says that even if Hanes is correct that portions of the Pennsylvania marriage law are unconstitutional, that determination can only be made by aggrieved parties bringing an appropriate court action to challenge the law.

As Tony Romeo and Jenn Bernstein report in CBS Philly, Hanes expressed disappointment in the decision. He said that he "will be reviewing the decision with county solicitor Ray McGarry and my solicitor Michael Clark to discuss with them next steps, including the possibility of appeal. In the meantime, I will fully comply with the Court's order."

Montgomery County Commissioners Leslie Richards and Chairman Josh Shapiro, who supported Hanes's decision to issue the marriage licenses, said, "We are disappointed in the court's decisions but we also recognize it is a long legal process and it is one that we're going to see through."

The State's General Counsel, who brought the lawsuit against Hanes, issued a statement about the judge's decision, saying in part, "We respect the interests and dignity of all the parties involved in this case, but we are a government of laws and it is important that all office holders across the state enforce those laws uniformly."

The decision may be read below.

Penn. Dept of Health v. Hanes - Opinion

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.