A judge last week agreed to separate requests from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Attorney General Kathleen Kane to be removed from a case challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini dismissed both as defendants from a case filed in September by a group of same-sex couples who received marriage licenses from Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes last summer. The couples are calling on the court to issue a ruling on the validity of their licenses and on the constitutionality of the state’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage. Health Secretary Michael Wolf will remain as the sole defendant.
Kane announced last summer that she would not defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Pellegrini, who is also presiding over that case, dismissed her from that suit, and she has also filed similar requests in other pending challenges to the state law.
Corbett argued that he was an improper party to serve as a defendant and that Wolf’s involvement would suffice. Pellegrini dismissed the pair from the case following oral arguments last Thursday morning in Harrisburg.