Governor Tom Corbett (Photo by Sarah Webb)

Gov. Tom Corbett will not appeal a judge’s ruling yesterday that overturned Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act, he said in a statement May 21.

After reviewing the case in which U.S. District Judge John Jones declared the 1996 law unconstitutional, Corbett said an appeal was “extremely unlikely to succeed.”

“Therefore,” he said, “I have decided not to appeal Judge Jones’ decision.”

(See the reaction of Archbishop Chaput and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference to the May 20 ruling here, and a review of same-sex marriage in other states here.)

With no appeal of the judge’s decision, same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania may be performed legally under state law, which will also recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.


“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.

“Throughout the debate on this important and meaningful issue, I have maintained that commonwealth officials and agencies would follow the provisions of Pennsylvania’s marriage law unless or until a court says otherwise. The court has spoken, and I will ensure that my administration follows the provisions of Judge Jones’ order with respect for all parties.

“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.”