Let the marriages begin! Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania just announced that he will not appeal yesterday's overturning of the state's ban on marriage equality, though Corbett has previously defended the ban.
Governor Corbett explained his decision, stating, "I have thoroughly reviewed Judge Jones' opinion in the Whitewood case. 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."
He added that while he "maintain[s] the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman," his duties as an elected official "require that I follow the laws as interpreted by the Courts and make a judgment as to the likelihood of a successful appeal. . . The court has spoken, and I will ensure that my administration follows the provisions of Judge Jones' order with respect for all parties."
Following this breaking announcement, Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD's President and CEO, responded to Gov. Corbett's decision: "Gov. Corbett made the right call to let love win and drop the opposition to marriage equality. It is good for Pennsylvania families and good for the state as a whole."
Equality Pennsylvania's Executive Director Ted Martin, said in a statement, "We sincerely thank Gov. Corbett for allowing this judgment to stand. Words cannot express what this means to the loving couples and families in Pennsylvania who have waited so long to be recognized. Marriage matters to all families, and we rejoice with them today. We also understand that what matters is not that we share the exact same beliefs with everyone in the commonwealth, but that we respect each others differences and treat everyone equally. That is why we appreciate what Gov. Corbett did today and we hope that we will be able to work together to continue to build bridges of understanding. Thank you for letting love win.”
Gov. Corbett concluded his statement by calling for continued dialogue on the matter of LGBT equality. "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," he said. You can read his full statement here.