Skip to comments.Pennsylvania's Attorney General Refuses to Defend State's Gay Marriage Ban
Posted on 07/11/2013 6:06:05 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Pennsylvania's attorney general Kathleen Kane said Thursday that she will not be defending the state in a recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union regarding the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
Kane, a Democrat, has decided not to defend the state because she is a proponent of same-sex marriage, and therefore the responsibility to defend the state's same-sex marriage ban will now be passed to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who opposes same-sex marriage.
Pennsylvania law states that the attorney general may pass her responsibility to defend the constitutionality of state laws to the governor's office or executive branches, should it serve in the best interest of the state.
Corbett may now choose another state lawyer to defend the state's statute prohibiting same-sex marriage, passed in 1996 which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.
"I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's [law banning same-sex marriage], where I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional," Kane announced to reporters at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
Both Kane and Corbett were named in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on Tuesday which seeks to overturn the state's law defining marriage as being between one man and woman.
The lawsuit also encourages the state to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages; currently, Pennsylvania does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions.
A press release from the ACLU argues that the state's Defense of Marriage Act is "[violating] the fundamental right to marry, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."
"Plaintiffs argue that the court should closely scrutinize this discriminatory treatment because the state's Defense of Marriage Act burdens the fundamental right to marry and because it discriminates based on sex and sexual orientation," the ACLU said in a statement.
The legal team is representing 23 state residents, including 10 same-sex couples, two minor children of those couples, and a widow whose partner of 29 years recently passed away.
Corbett's office has yet to comment on Kane's announcement, but the governor has previously expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage.
The lawsuit filed by the ACLU in Pennsylvania is one attempt among many on behalf of same-sex marriage advocates to have individual states overturn same-sex marriage bans following the June ruling by the Supreme Court that struck down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The ACLU will also file lawsuits in Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Those supporting the traditional definition of marriage argue that legal teams such as the ACLU should not put the issue of same-sex marriage back into court, but rather put it up for a voter referendum on a ballot so the people of the state may decide.
Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which opposes same-sex marriage, told The New York Times that putting the issue in court takes it out of the hands of the people.
"The fact the ACLU is turning to the courts to try to redefine marriage takes it out of the hands of the people," Geer said.
Proponents of same-sex marriage argue that because they believe their cause to be a civil rights issue, it should be addressed by the court, not the people.
We are no longer a nation of laws. This is not the United States of America as founded.
We are a nation of thugs.
The republicans should now fail to enforce ALL affirmative action laws, union laws, obamacare and abortion laws.
Governor Corbett can’t fire the Rat...in Pennsylvania, AG’s are elected officials and not appointed.
this is the new liberal Alinsky tactic. By not defending the law in court, and based on the Supreme Court saying that nobody had standing to defend Proposition 8 from California, then judges are simply going to automatically rule for homosexual marriage.
Is anyone else alarmed by this tactic, aside from the issue of homosexual marriage? If the liberals get away with this, they can simply get a lawsuit going against a law they don’t like, refuse to defend it, then the court overturns a law becuase nobody has standing. Our legal system is hanging by a thread with liberals doing this.
I’m just thankful that the majority of states, around 35 States do recognize Marriage as ONLY being between 1 man and 1 woman. The majority of states recognize proper marriage, I think same sex marriage can be held off, I think the past year has mainly been a fad with a President trying to push this on the public. Eventually, I think normalcy will return and I think Illinois NOT redefining marriage is the beginning of the tide turning back in favor of Traditional Marriage.
P.S. I say “Traditional Marriage” but make no mistake, I think that is the only thing that is Marriage, 1 man and 1 woman.
We now official are ruled by Pirate Rules - more a set of guidelines to be followed when it suits us.
We are lead to this by our President, as the chief law enforcement presence in the nation.
We can now no longer tell our children the rules are meant to be followed until changed with an appropriate process. Now, they may be taught only to follow rules that they agree should be followed.
The rule of law is over.
the GOP should mention social issues much more instead of being cowards and we’ll see more republicans voted in.
‘Sworn to defend the Law of the Land’/ not?
Impeach the beetch.
Isn’t it the AG’s legal obligation to do so?
Exactly what the activist “progressive” judges intended. Now they can ram gay marriage down everyone’s throats simply by opting out of defending it, since nobody else will be considered to have standing.
The Supreme Court’s DOMA decision as Justice Scalia noted in his dissent invites a case from the states to come up to the Supreme Court for the Roe vs. Wade decision that would strike down any and all state laws that define marriage as a man and woman thing.
After the majority came in against DOMA we all now know that the redefinition of marriage nationally by the US Supreme Court is only a matter of the time it takes for the case to reach them.
Is this the case???????
Then she needs to resign. Her sworn duty is to defend the laws of her State.
“The ACLU will also file lawsuits in Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia”
The people voted overwhelmingly on a Constitional amendment that defines marriage as one man one woman. ACLU can file lawsuits till their blue in the face.
Per the article: Pennsylvania law states that the attorney general may pass her responsibility to defend the constitutionality of state laws to the governor's office or executive branches, should it serve in the best interest of the state.
Be glad she passed on it rather than saying she would defend it in a totally incompetent way.
I'm not surprised in the least..
Governor Corbett's parish Priest is a personal frined.
Father tells me that when the Governor is home he rarely misses daily Mass.
I have to agree with you. I can't imagine Obama "defending" DOMA in federal court. He would have gotten Section 2 and 3 both thrown out by "defending" the law.
But why would this AG pass the opportunity to pretend to defend, then sabotage the defense, a law she doesn't like? Unless she is afraid of the Gaystapo.