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 federal District Judge John E. Jones, III declared unconstitutional the Commonwealth’s longstanding definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
Gaffney is seeking intervention in the case and a stay 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,” she said. “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 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.”
Since it appears that the Commonwealth will not appeal the decision by Judge Jones, it is good news that an effort is being made to place a county clerk of the orphans’ court in a position to appeal and have the decision reversed. County clerks are responsible for issuing marriage licenses and two were named in the Whitewood case; therefore Gaffney asserts that she has legal standing to appeal. Hopefully, the intervention will be allowed and the appeal will be successful. Please keep Ms. Gaffney and her courageous stand for marriage in your prayers.