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Renegade clerk issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples, may see his work struck down

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 4th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A Pennsylvania clerk is in a bit of controversy after he began issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Philadelphia in spite of the fact that state does not permit such marriages. The state is arguing such documents have no legitimacy.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - D. Bruce Hanes, 66, an elected county clerk in Philadelphia, began on his own initiative, to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. He has so far issued licenses to 157 same-sex couples.

The state has sued, saying the documents have "no value or legitimacy" because they violate state law. The state has had a popular and legal ban against same-sex marriage since 1996. Hanes admits he has broke the law by issuing the licenses, saying he believes he is "on the right side of history." Hanes said he consulted with attorneys before issuing any licenses. He told NBC News, "I have broken the law, but it is an unconstitutional law."

Of course, many would disagree with Hanes. However, they do not get reported on in the main stream media. Instead, Hanes is presented as some sort of crusader. It is all a part of a concerted effort to 'normalize' the abnormal and call any who disagree, at best narrow minded, or much worse. That includes Christians who remain faithful to 2000 years of Church teaching. 

Today, the Commonwealth Court will determine if Hanes really has broken the law and if the licenses issued by his office are invalid. This is the likely outcome because such licenses are illegal in Pennsylvania, which remains the only state in the Northeast where same-sex marriage is illegal.

His friend and colleague, Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor told NBC, that Hanes "is charged with executing the laws, and he is not doing that... I think that Bruce is a man of principle and integrity, but he's a little idealistic and doesn't fully grasp what his role is as an executive officer."

The courts, given over as they are to the agenda Hanes represents, and enlisted in the Cultural Revolution, may be inclined to agree.

In addition to the actions of one renegade clerk, the state is also meeting a challenge brought by the ACLU against the 1996 ban on same-sex marriage.

As for being on the right side of history, Hanes could do with a little study. Disordered sexual activity  was widely practiced in some ancient cultures, such as the city of Sodom and among the early Romans, and neither of those civilizations lasted long.
 
Instead, history has shown that moral societies which respect the Natural Moral Law, including respecting and protecting marriage as what it is, a lifelong, faithful union between one man and one woman - open to children and formative of family -  tend to be much more durable and successful than those which call non-marital relationships the moral equivalent of marriage and seek to use the the force of law to compel everyone else to treat them as though they are marriages. 

Whatever the outcome, marriage cannot be defined, nor redefined by changes in civil law anyway. Although the change in civil law does have certain effects. For example, destabilizingthe  family and the society founded upon it, as well as entrenching and 'normalizing' immorality. It flaunts the natural moral law written on every human heart. However, marriage remains what it is, as designed by God and unchangeable by men and women who reject the truth.

In the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, marriage is a sacrament for good reason. It reveals the love of Christ for His Church, calls husband and wife to holiness, and forms the foundation for the domestic church of the family, the first cell of the universal Church. Marriage is only possible between one man and one woman, and no renegade clerk in Pennsylvania should be allowed to  decide on his or her own to change what is unchangeable. 

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