A group of about 20 supporters of the Pro-Life Coalition of PA protested outside the Montgomery County Courthouse on Friday, objecting to Register of Wills Bruce Hanes’ decision to begin offering marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite Pennsylvania’s ban. According to the group’s president, Michael McMonagle, it is “just discrimination” to limit marriage to only heterosexual couples:
It’s not about love. It’s about children. There’s a thing called just discrimination. For example, should blind people be allowed to vote? Of course they should, because not being able to see has nothing to do with having the right to vote. Should blind people get a driver’s license? Of course not, because being able to see is essential to being able to drive.
Heterosexuality is essential to the meaning of marriage. Civil government has an interest in producing future children. It’s utter arrogance to think that we can redefine the institution that has been the bedrock of all society throughout history.
McMonagle’s talking points fall flat for numerous reasons. Most importantly, he doesn’t acknowledge the children already being raised by same-sex couples, including some of the families who have already obtained marriage licenses from Hanes. Futhermore — his implication that homosexuality is a disability aside — driving cannot be compared to marriage because driving is a privilege, but marriage is a fundamental right. His only accurate point is that it truly is discrimination to deprive some families of the protections of marriage.
Hanes began issuing marriage licenses a few weeks after Pennsylvania state Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) said that she would not defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriages from a lawsuit challenging it. Infamously homophobic state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) has called for both Hanes and Kane to be impeached for “breaking the law.” Metcalfe is the same lawmaker who last month blocked his gay colleague from even speaking about marriage equality on the floor of the General Assembly.
As of Friday, 26 same-sex couples had obtained marriage licenses in Montgomery County. No action has been taken to prevent Hanes from continuing to issue them.