Attorney General Kane Addresses the Public Why She Will Not Defend PA’s DOMA

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Attorney General Kathleen Kane addressed the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the National Constitution Center about why she will not defend the Commonwealth in the landmark case filed by the ACLU to repeal Pennsylvania’s version of a Mini-DOMA.

As Attorney General she believes it’s in the best interest of the Agency of the Attorney General to defend the Commonwealth alongside Governor Tom Corbett. She believes the case goes against the constitutional rights of her constituents.

Kane made it clear that because she values the right for the defendants to have the best legal representation possible, it would be unethical for her and her team to represent a matter which goes against the very reason they go to work daily – to uphold the Constitution. Kane made it clear that her duty is to the Constitution.

She started her heartfelt and powerful speech addressing the reasoning behind her decision, the Fourteenth amendment of the constitution and the very backbone of country which is as she stated, meant to be the “land of the Free and the Brave”. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, which she used to emphasize the progression of freedoms from the Civil War to the time when different races were granted the right to marry.

The crowd was emotional when Kane quoted Ronald F. Kenned, paraphrasing that each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

News reporters questioned how Corbett’s office has reacted to the news. Kane’s team has not formally sent the confirmation for the decision to Corbett, but states she believes, “He will be fine”.

Kane, a Democrat, supports gay marriage, and that Pennsylvania law includes a provision allowing the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel to defend it in her place, should it be more “efficient,” or in the state’s interest.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett opposes gay marriage so it’s unlikely that he’ll decline to defend the law as well. The Complaint names both Corbett and Kane as defendants and her decision does not affect her obligation to obtain legal counsel for herself in her role as Attorney General.

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