(Harrisburg, PA) – The Pennsylvania Family Institute today expressed disappointment that Attorney General Kathleen Kane will not to defend the Commonwealth’s marriage law against a lawsuit filed this week by the ACLU.
Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act, which states that marriage in Pennsylvania is the union of one man and one woman, passed by overwhelming numbers in the General Assembly, and was signed into law by Gov. Tom Ridge in 1996. The ACLU is asking a Federal Judge to overturn that law, and redefine marriage in Pennsylvania.
“This is simply dereliction of duty by the Attorney General,” said Michael Geer, the Family Institute President. “The statute that governs the role of Attorney General in Pennsylvania is crystal clear: defend duly-enacted state laws*. Apparently General Kane believes she can ignore laws she disagrees with. This is damaging to the rule of law and the people’s trust in government,” added Geer.
Attorney General Kane was not elected judge – to pass judgment on the wisdom of laws duly passed by the General Assembly. It’s her job to defend them.
Every year, laws are passed that people oppose. We are not given freedom to ignore or disobey them, and neither is Attorney General Kane. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better from their Attorney General.
We anticipate that other parties named in the lawsuit, including Gov. Tom Corbett, will rightfully take up the responsibility to defend marriage in Pennsylvania.
* From the Commonwealth Attorneys Act of 1980:
Ch 2, Section 204 (3) It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to uphold and defend the constitutionality of all statutes so as to prevent their suspension or abrogation in the absence of a controlling decision by a court of competent jurisdiction.