A day after a federal judge knocked
down Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban, Governor Tom Corbett announced
that he will not appeal the ruling.
The move makes Pennsylvania the 19th
state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to allow gay couples
to marry, and the second this week after Oregon.
judge strikes down Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban.)
“I have thoroughly reviewed Judge
Jones’ opinion in the Whitewood case. Given the high legal
threshold set forth by Judge Jones in this case, the case is
extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal. Therefore, after review of
the opinion and on the advice of my Commonwealth legal team, I have
decided not to appeal Judge Jones’ decision,” Corbett, a
Republican, said in a written statement.
“As a Roman Catholic, the traditional
teaching of my faith has not w??avered. I continue to maintain
the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. My duties
as Governor require that I follow the laws as interpreted by the
Courts and make a judgment as to the likelihood of a successful
“Throughout the debate on this
important and meaningful issue, I have maintained that Commonwealth
officials and agencies would follow the provisions of Pennsylvania’s
marriage law unless or until a court says otherwise. The court has
spoken, and I will ensure that my administration follows the
provisions of Judge Jones’ order with respect for all parties.”
“It is my hope that as the important
issue of same-sex relationships continues to be addressed in our
society, that all involved be treated with respect,” he added.
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to
Marry, applauded the decision.
“Governor Corbett's decision not to
waste taxpayers' money defending the indefensible denial of the
freedom to marry even one day longer is the right decision for
Pennsylvania, for families, and for the country – and one more big
step forward to celebrate,” Wolfson said in a statement.
“Pennsylvania is showing the country that when gay couples share in
the freedom to marry, it's joy, love, security, and happiness and a
stronger community for everyone, and no one loses. And this latest
decision by a Republican governor not to try to keep gay couples from
marrying is additional proof that all of America is ready for the
freedom to marry.”