Protestors with the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania knelt praying in Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes’s office on Friday morning, as a lesbian couple exited with their marriage license despite the fact that Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act is still in place.
“What you’re seeing here is a cultural war,” Pro-Life Coalition President Michael J. McMonagle told Media Trackers. “Same sex marriage and religious liberty are in direct opposition. And religious liberty is losing.”
McMonagle said gay marriages are part of a “war on children,” which he described as beginning before conception with contraceptives, after conception with abortion, or after birth by denying children a mother and a father.
The 25 protestors gathered outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse on Friday at 11:30 a.m. to express concern over the growing number of illegal same-sex marriage licenses being handed out by Hanes. Several held signs calling for a “Return to God’s Law.”
The group went into Hanes’s office first and prayed in his absence, and then they headed to county District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman’s office to ask her to file charges against Hanes. Ferman was unavailable, as was every other prosecutor in the office, McMonagle said.
McMonagle said some protestors spoke with Hanes on Thursday.
“He was very arrogant,” McMonagle told Media Trackers. “He was saying, ‘Have me arrested. I’m not going to change this. I think the Constitution gives me authority. The heck with the legislature and the governor.’”
McMonagle said that even though Hanes is breaking the law and needs to be reprimanded, that is not the biggest problem.
“Our biggest complaint is not with Hanes,” he explained. “It’s with [Republican Gov. Tom] Corbett. Because he could shut this down right now.”
By not taking action, Corbett is losing support from his pro-life and pro-family backers, McMonagle claimed. And Corbett’s approval rating is already well below 50 percent.
Corbett has yet to publicly denounce Hanes’s actions.
McMonagle said the coalition’s next steps will include pressuring Corbett to take action against Hanes. They also intend to file civil action against Hanes, get a mandamus ordering Ferman to file charges against Hanes, file a civil suit against Hanes by a county resident, and also to ask the state legislature to initiate impeachment proceedings against Hanes.
District Attorney Ferman issued a statement saying Hanes was acting illegally, but insisted she would not be the one to take action against him, as Media Trackers previously reported.