Pennsylvania attorney general refuses to defend gay marriage ban
By: John Hayward
7/11/2013 08:48 AM
Just as the government of California decided not to defend Proposition 8, and the Obama Administration decided not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act long before the Supreme Court ruled on it, the attorney general of Pennsylvania has elected not to defend that state’s law against gay marriage from a legal challenge. The Washington Post reports:
Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane will not defend the state in a federal lawsuit filed this week challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, lawyers involved in the case said.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Tuesday on behalf of 23 Pennsylvania residents, including 10 couples, a widow and two children. The Philadelphia Daily News first reportedKane’s decision, which she is expected to announce Thursday.
The decision was confirmed by lawyers involved in the case, who asked not to be identified because Kane had not made a public announcement.
Kane is named as a defendant in the suit, along with the state’s governor Tom Corbett (R-Penn.). Kane is the first woman and the first Democrat ever elected to the position of Pennsylvania state attorney general, which became an elected office in 1980.
It’s still possible for third parties to step forward and mount a legal defense...
Elspeth's note: But the Supreme Court will find that 3rd parties may not have "standing" to defend the law. That's what happened with Prop 8 when it hit SCOTUS. The real truth here is that if the state doesn't defend the law, the law will eventually fall.
It’s one thing when gay marriage proponents are able to win through the electoral and legislative process. Whether you agree with their position or not, that’s a fair process, which properly recognizes the importance of representative government in such a momentous decision. But the Pennsylvania lawsuit is one of several coming in the wake of the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision which are expressly designed to short-circuit representative government, as the New York Times conceded on Wednesday:
The legalization of same-sex marriage has primarily come through the political process, with lawmakers and voters approving it in six states in just the past year. But earlier victories were achieved through state courts, in states including Massachusetts and Iowa. The A.C.L.U. acknowledged that it was bringing suit in Pennsylvania because overturning the state’s gay marriage ban in the Republican-controlled legislature is a near-term impossibility....
The A.C.L.U. plans to file suit soon in two other states, Virginia and North Carolina. In Michigan, a federal judge blocked a state law denying domestic partner benefits to public employees, citing the Supreme Court rulings. And on Wednesday the A.C.L.U. and Lambda Legal plan to seek summary judgment in Illinois in two year-old gay marriage cases.
“You’ll have these things filed all over the place,” said Frank Schubert, political director of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage.
It’s a strategy ultimately designed to manipulate the Supreme Court into imposing gay marriage nationwide by judicial fiat...