HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -
A Commonwealth Court judge is being asked to stop a Montgomery County court clerk from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
The judge has yet to make a decision after Wednesday morning's hearing, but made it clear in court that this is not a question of Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act. Instead, it questions the authority of an official to act above the law in personal defense of the Constitution.
Back in June it was all smiles when abc27 followed a Harrisburg couple, Bolton and James, to the steps of One Montgomery Plaza in Norristown.
Their marital bliss on that day was exchanged for a different emotion in front of the Capitol Judicial Center this week.
"I'm not marrying more than one person and I'm not 12-years-old," shouted Bolton from the crowd.
They are among the 160+ same-sex couples granted marriage licenses by Montgomery County Register of Wills, D. Bruce Haines.
"On one hand I have a statue to uphold. On the other I have the Constitution, and I chose to uphold the Constitution," Haines told abc27 in July.
"This is a question of whether a local official, an official anywhere in Pennsylvania, can take action based on their own personal opinion," said Nils Hagen-Frederiksen with the attorney general's office.
The Health Department asked judge Dan Pellegrini to halt Haine's actions, arguing that his filing of illegal licenses compromises their record keeping.
"We are here on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, delegated by the attorney general's office," Hagen-Frederiksen said.
But also in July, Attorney General Kathleen Kane vowed that she would not defend the state's Defense of Marriage Act.
Haines' team argues that he is acting under the same moral guidelines. And here enters the question of morality.
"As Judge Pellegrini made very clear, that is something for another day," added Hagen-Frederiksen.
Outside the courtroom, that it wasn't the case.
"You are going to argue with God? I can't argue with God! It's Adam and Eve," said one religious activist to a gay minister.
The Commonwealth attorneys argued that if every public official was given the authority to undermine laws, "chaos would ensue."
"There is no chaos in Montgomery County," said County Commissioner, Josh Shapiro.