Schuylkill County Clerk Seeks Standing for Marriage Appeal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Schuylkill County Clerk Files Motion to Intervene in Marriage Lawsuit

This afternoon, Jim Smith and David Crossett, attorneys with the Smith Law Group, LLC, located in Fleetwood, Berks County, Pennsylvania, and Jeff Conrad, attorney with Clymer, Musser & Conrad, P.C., located in Lancaster County, on behalf of Theresa Santai Gaffney, Clerk of the Orphan’s Court of Schuylkill County, filed a Motion to Intervene in Whitewood v. Wolf, the case in which a single federal District Judge declared unconstitutional for all Pennsylvanians, the Commonwealth’s longstanding definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. Theresa Santai Gaffney, Clerk of the Orphan’s Court, is seeking intervention in the case so that the ruling can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Governor Corbett, who had been defending the law, declined to appeal the ruling. “An appeal is necessary so that the judicial process is not abandoned,” stated Ms. Gaffney. “The people of Pennsylvania deserve to hear from the Court of Appeals on this important issue because a single judge should not be able to nullify the will of the majority without an appeal.”

Marriage between one man and one woman has always been the law in Pennsylvania. “I respect the law of our Commonwealth and the will of the people reflected in the law,” said Ms. Gaffney. “I believe that the voice of those who think that our law is constitutional and best serves all citizens of the Commonwealth should be heard.”

“Due to the uncertainty of the state of the law, I will continue issuing marriage licenses to all couples,” said Ms. Gaffney.

One of the reasons that she is seeking to intervene in this case is to obtain clarity about her official duties.

The Motion to Intervene asks the Court for the ability to join the lawsuit for purposes of appeal.

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