Yesterday, Towleroad reported that Pennsyvania Governor Tom Corbett's administration filed a brief Wednesday in defense of the state's ban on same-sex marriage seeking to halt the marriage licenses that have been handed out for a month in Montogmery County. The brief compared gay and lesbian couples to 12-year-olds, who are also barred from marrying under state law, reading:
"Had the clerk issued marriage licenses to 12-year-olds in violation of state law, would anyone seriously contend that each 12-year-old . . . is entitled to a hearing on the validity of his 'license'?"
Corbett's office is now backtracking on that statement, Reuters reports:
Speaking for Corbett, who is on vacation in South Carolina, Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, spokesman for the Office of General Counsel, said the analogy was being taken out of context through a campaign of misinformation by the governors detractors. The reference to 12-year-olds was only meant to illustrate one group that is prohibited from marrying under state law, he said.
But it's an analogy, the governor feels was inappropriate, Hagen-Frederiksen said. The governor never said it or wrote it, Hagen-Frederiksen said, but his detractors are acting like he did.
So Corbett wants to clear his name and wants the public to know, he doesn't agree with it and he thinks it was an inappropriate analogy, Hagen-Frederiksen said.
"That's coming form the governor's mouth," he said.
Political enemies of the Republican administration spent a good part of Thursday trumpeting the 12-year-old reference as an alleged act of bias.
"Tom Corbett needs to remove every single person who signed off on this bigoted, disgusting brief from his office today," Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn.