Attorney General Kathleen Kane is not gonig to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in the federal courts. Kane, a Democrat, was named in the lawsuit alongside Republican Governor Corbett, who is likely to defend the suit.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the legality and constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage roughly two weeks after the US Supreme Court struck down Prop 8 in California and part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The lawsuit, Whitewood v. Corbett, was filed on behalf of 23 state residents who either want to be able to marry in the state, want recognition for their out-of-state marriages or want the same protections granted to opposite-sex couples.
Pennsylvania remains the only holdout in the Northeast regarding same-sex marriage or civil unions. Along the East Coast, every state either has civil unions or same-sex marriages.
Kane is the first Democrat to hold the office of Attorney General in Pennsylvania, which only became an elected position in 1980. She is also the first woman to do so.
How much of an impact Kane’s refusal to defend the law will have on the case will have to be seen. The fact that Governor Corbett has been named in the suit and he is an anti-marriage equality Republican will likely mitigate the impact Kane’s refusal will have on the case itself.
However, because Kane’s office will not be defending the law in court, Corbett will likely have to hire an outside firm to defend the law on his behalf, and that will have to be done at taxpayer’s expense.