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Governor Tom Corbett compares gay marriage to incest

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:50:17 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 04 2013 01:43:35 PM CDT

Corbett explains comment

HARRISBURG, Pa. -

Gov. Tom Corbett is again wading into the gay marriage debate in Pennsylvania, comparing it to incest.

Corbett made the remark on a Friday morning news broadcast by WHP-TV in Harrisburg, when asked about a statement his lawyers made in a court filing in August.

The state attorneys at that time compared gay and lesbian couples to children, as neither may legally marry in Pennsylvania.

Corbett, who previously called that statement inappropriate, said he thinks "a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don't you?"

Later Friday, Corbett issued a statement in response to the news segment:

"During a recent interview, I was asked to comment on the ruling by Judge Pellegrini that the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts did not have the power to decide the constitutionality of state laws.

“My words were not intended to offend anyone. If they did, I apologize.

“I explained that current Pennsylvania statute delineates categories of individuals unable to obtain a marriage license. As an example, I cited siblings as one such category, which is clearly defined in state law. My intent was to provide an example of these categories.

”The constitutional question is now before a federal court and that is the venue in which same-sex couples wishing to legally marry have standing to intervene and be heard. Same-sex marriage is an important issue and the question of its legal status is one that will be heard and decided upon its merits, with respect and compassion shown to all sides.”

Corbett also said he doesn't think a pending legal challenge to Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage belongs in federal court.