Same-sex marriages are just as legally suspect as a marriage between two 12-year-olds, attorneys for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett argued Wednesday.
Corbett’s office is trying to block over 150 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by a suburban Philadelphia county, claiming in a court filing that they have no “value or legitimacy.” The attorneys cited a 1996 law that prohibits marriage between children by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
The licenses were issued by Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes, who says state law is unconstitutional and discriminatory. The state’s Department of Health has brought the case against Hanes, who is scheduled to appear in court next week.
“Had the clerk issued marriage licenses to 12-year-olds in violation of state law, would anyone seriously contend that each 12-year-old… is entitled to a hearing on the validity of his ‘license’?” the state wrote, according to Philly.com.
Corbett, a vulnerable Republican seeking reelection next year, is also defending the state’s law against same-sex marriage in court after the state attorney general, a Democrat, declined to do so following the Supreme Court’s ruling this year striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.