‘Pennsylvania Defends Marriage Ban in Court, Says Gay Couples, Like ’12-Year-Olds’, Can’t Marry

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 Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

CorbettIn a brief Wednesday, state attorneys said those marriage licenses were never valid, and compared gay and lesbian couples to "12-year-olds" who are also barred from marrying under state law. The state Department of Health and Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes will appear in Commonwealth Court next Wednesday to argue the case…

…"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'?" the state wrote.

154 marriage licenses have been handed out to gay and lesbian couples since late July, the paper adds:

Thirty-two of the couples have petitioned to intervene in the case, arguing that a ruling against Hanes could also invalidate their marriages…

…If the couples wish to defend their "purported marriage licenses," the state wrote, they should file their own lawsuit or wait for the outcome of a federal challenge to Pennsylvania's marriage law.