Corbett Backs Off Language Filed In Legal Brief On Gay Marriage

08.30.13 | Sarah Harnisch

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is backing off the language filed in his legal brief to defend traditional marriage in the Keystone state. In 25 pages of paperwork, there was one sentence that caught the eye of gays across the state, that compared them to 12 year olds, who also don't have legal standing to wed. Gay rights activists said "the legal fact that gay and lesbian adults have about as many rights as 12 year olds to marriage may be true, but that's not a respectful way of talking about a community of people. Don't publish that. It's disrespectful. Find a more nuanced way."

Republican Governor Tom Corbett released a statement Thursday calling it a poor analogy. Corbett's administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to block same-sex marriage licenses in suburban Philadelphia, where Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes has issued more than 150 to gay and lesbian couples since July 24th. Corbett's lawyers say the story is a distraction from what's going on. "This Montgomery County case is about one issue: whether the Register of Wills has the authority to do what he is doing, which is to defy state law."

Meanwhile-- according to a new Franklin & Marshall College poll, three in four across the Keystone state said they agree with the governor on this one. They say it's unacceptable for state or local officials to ignore a law with which they disagree.