By: WJAC Web Staff and The Associated Press
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett said he won’t appeal a court decision that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban.
Corbett’s decision Wednesday means that same-sex marriage will remain legal in Pennsylvania, without the threat that a higher court will reinstate the ban.
“I have thoroughly reviewed Judge Jones’ opinion in the Whitewood case,” Corbett said in a statement. “Given the high legal threshold set forth by Judge Jones in this case, the case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal. Therefore, after review of the opinion and on the advice of my Commonwealth legal team, I have decided not to appeal Judge Jones’ decision.”
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III struck down Pennsylvania’s 1996 law banning recognition of gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional.
Corbett’s decision goes against his political beliefs. He opposes same-sex marriage and supported thus-far unsuccessful efforts to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.
“As a Roman Catholic, the traditional teaching of my faith has not wavered,” Corbett said. “I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. 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.”
Pennsylvania is the 19th to recognize same-sex marriages. Hundreds of gay couples apply for marriage licenses after Jones’ ruling Tuesday. Pennsylvania was the last northeastern U.S. state to outlaw gay marriage.
“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,” Corbett said.