Same-sex couples can keep original anniversary date

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Same-sex couples who got married before a federal judge struck down Pennsylvania’s ban can keep their original anniversary date.

The state Department of Health and D. Bruce Hanes, the clerk of the Montgomery County Orphan’s Court, said Tuesday they are settling a two-year-old lawsuit.

The Health Department originally sued Hanes to stop him from issuing same-sex marriage licenses in 2013, when the state’s ban was still in force.

More recently, they disagreed over the legal date of the couples’ anniversary.

The department first proposed moving it to May 20, 2014, the day Pennsylvania’s ban was overturned.

But Hanes wanted to use the date when the ceremonies were performed, and the department now says it won’t challenge that. Hanes says the state can’t say that issuing the licenses had no effect since the ban was declared unconstitutional.

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