Pennsylvania's attorney general said Thursday that she will not defend a 17-year-old state law effectively banning same-sex marriage from a legal challenge in federal court.
In a brief statement to reporters and a small crowd of supporters in Philadelphia, Attorney General Kathleen Kane said that she cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's marriage law that she believes to be unconstitutional.
Kane, a Democrat who supports same-sex marriage, said the state and U.S. Constitution each stress equal protection under the law. The job of defending the law now falls to Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican who opposes same-sex marriage.
He and Kane were both named in a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania and require the state to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who wed in other jurisdictions.
Corbett has not said whether he will fight the lawsuit.
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