Brandy Andrew
Staff Writer

The greatest shame in this world of billions is that each and every one of us has known the feeling of being totally alone. It is our hate that isolates us. We feel the need to single out groups of people who aren’t “as good,” or even “as human,” and we treat them as such. We all have a basic understanding of the history of racism, bigotry, and oppression. What I personally don’t understand is how it is still alive.
At this point in our society, those who are still fighting against the LGBTQ community and trying to deny them basic human rights should be deported to Russia where they belong. That kind of ignorant hate should have no place in a country that considers itself to be the greatest in the world.
US-POLITICS-DOMA-GAY-MARRIAGE-NEWS-FEEDOne would think we as a people would have learned our lesson about denying human rights back in the 1860s. However, since then we have only continued to unjustifiably treat others as lower beings. In this country, any group of people who aren’t white, Christian males have, at one point or another, been discriminated against and oppressed.
The right for same-sex couples to marry has been a hot topic for a long time across the country. In the United States, same-sex marriage is recognized in 14 states, 8 counties in New Mexico, and six tribal jurisdictions. The fight is coming closer to home, and it seems as though equality is on the horizon.
Register of Wills, D. Bruce Hanes, made a name for himself over the summer. The Montgomery County court clerk gave marriage licenses to 174 same-sex couples. The problem with this is that same-sex marriage is still banned in the state of Pennsylvania. Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini ordered Hanes to stop issuing the licenses, but the validity of the many he has handed out is up in the air.
Hanes handed out the licenses in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning part of the Defense of Marriage Act and the state attorney general Kathleen Kane calling the Pennsylvania ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Hanes agreed that the ban went against the Constitution he is in law to uphold.
Where this will lead is uncertain to me, but I am glad to live in a state where, if we have nothing else, we have Bruce Hanes. While the politicians in the federal circuit are upholding nothing but their income and their seats, we have a County court clerk willing to step outside the bounds of his job to do his part in handing out equality.
The obvious answer when it comes to what to do with the 174 couples that have attained a license from Hanes is to have 174 weddings. The law being what it may, they legally acquired the licenses from a man whose job it is to give them. If their marriages aren’t legally observed they should absolutely sue somebody. If this case turns out how it should, same-sex marriage should be legally recognized in this state soon.