Friday, July 12, 2013

Gay Marriage Lawsuit Puts PA Governor Tom Corbett in Bind

Other than slashing social safety net programs, nothing warms the heart of the Christofascist base of the GOP more than bashing gays and stigmatizing us in every way possible.  However, with the rapid rising in support for gay marriage, we may be about to see an example of where pandering to the party base could prove toxic in a general election.  The case in point is Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (pictured above) who must decide whether or not to defend Pennsylvania' anti-gay marriage law now that that state's Attorney General has announced that she will not defend the law which she describes as "wholly unconstitutional."  A piece in Politico looks at the quandry that Corbett faces.  Here are highlights:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who’s suffering from low approval ratings and has a tough reelection battle looming next year, is facing yet another politically difficult decision: whether or not to stand up for the Keystone State’s same-sex marriage ban.

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, said Thursday that she wouldn’t defend the ban in court — raising the issue on a state level for the first time since the Supreme Court ruled against the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Since Kane has declined to defend the law, the responsibility falls to Corbett to decide what to do. Pennsylvania General Counsel James D. Schultz said in a statement Thursday afternoon that Corbett’s office “will continue to review the lawsuit” — and took a swipe at Kane.
Corbett faces a rock-and-hard place decision. If he opts to defend the law — he’s expressed support for it in the past — Corbett will draw ire from a Democratic base that already despises him. If he chooses not to defend it, he risks alienating the members of his own party he needs for reelection next year.

By defending the law, said Muhlenberg College pollster Chris Borick, Corbett would be “going counter to general public opinion in the state — but he has to worry first about his very lukewarm support within his own party.”

GOP strategist Ray Zaborney said he doesn’t think the issue “cuts one way or another” in the state. But Zaborney said Democrats are certain to attack the governor if he defends the law.

The GOP should never have allowed the Christofascists to hijack the party and take over city and county committees.  These people are zealots and extremists and, in my view, will yet be the death of the GOP.

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