Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania has decided not to appeal the federal court ruling, written by Judge John. E. Jones of Dover trial fame, striking down that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. In his statement, he said he didn’t think the state was likely to win an appeal:
Gov. Corbett on Wednesday announced he would not appeal the federal court ruling that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.
In a statement, the governor repeated his personal opposition to same-sex marriage but said his administration lawyers had concluded that an appeal of Tuesday’s historic decision was “extremely unlikely” to succeed.
“As a Roman Catholic, the traditional teaching of my faith has not wavered. I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Corbett said. But, he added, “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 appeal. 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.”The decision all but ends a years-long legal battle in Pennsylvania and moved the Commonwealth into the growing column of states giving recognition and legal protection to gay and lesbian marriages. It also could extinguish an fight that was poised to become a central campaign issue as the Republican governor seeks re-election in November.
Is it too late for someone to mount a Republican primary challenge to him? If not, there’s almost surely going to be one. If so, it’s a savvy move on his part.