US: Republican Governor admits comparison between equal marriage and child marriage was ‘inappropriate’

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Pennsylvanian Governor, Tom Corbett has admitted that his lawyers used an “inappropriate analogy”, when they said the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples was no different from issuing marriage licenses to children.

The Corbett administration, and the state health department are currently suing D Bruce Hanes, a county clerk who has issued over a hundred marriage licences to same-sex couples, defying a state ban on equal marriage, because he said he thought it was unconstitutional.

The state wants a judge to immediately order Hanes to cease issuing the marriage licences. While putting their arguments forward to the court, Corbetts lawyers argued that no one, “would seriously contend that each 12 year old is entitled to a hearing on the validity of his license?”

The analogy quickly drew criticism with many describing the comments as being insensitive. Governor Corbett released a statement calling the analogy “inappropriate” and went onto say: “It was not a commentary on same-sex marriage.”

In his statement he concluded by saying: “There was no intent to make disparaging statements about any group. It was a reference to the court that there is no other group in Pennsylvania, that is prohibited from marrying, that is allowed to walk into a courtroom and get a marriage license. To take that and turn it into an alleged commentary on same-sex marriage is twisting the nature of that legal filing.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warned against the weddings, as a lawsuit to have the state’s ban on equal marriage ruled unconstitutional, is currently pending.

A court in the US state of Pennsylvania in September will begin to hear arguments around the case of Hanes, who has now issued hundreds of marriage licences to same-sex couples.