Pennsylvania’s Republican governor announced today he will not appeal yesterday’s ruling that struck down the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Gov. Tom Corbett’s office mounted a defense to the legal challenge against the law after the state’s Democratic attorney general, Kathleen Kane, refused to do it.
Conservatives expected Corbett to appeal the ruling, but he said today an appeal would be “extremely unlikely to succeed.” Even so, he said dropping the case went against his beliefs.
“As a Roman Catholic, the traditional teaching of my faith has not wavered,” Corbett said in a statement. “I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
Unless a higher court intervenes, same-sex marriages can begin immediately.
Despite Corbett’s claims that an appeal would be unsuccessful, federal appeals courts have not yet ruled on the merits of any challenges to same sex marriage bans. The cases will eventually end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, which issued an emergency stay halting same-sex marriages in Utah earlier this year, until the legal process plays out. Supporters of traditional marriage hope the high court will rule in favor of states’ rights, which would require voters in all states with previously approved bans to go back to the ballot box to reverse them.