In the Dec. 30 filing in Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, the state urged the court to deny the joint petition filed last month by Kane and the plaintiffs for her dismissal as a defendant. Or, the state argued, if Kane is dismissed, Corbett should be as well.
The joint petition for leave to discontinue action against Kane argued that the attorney general, who has refused to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, is an “unnecessary party to the action.” Last week’s state filing contended that the plaintiffs “inexplicably refuse to accord the same amicable disposition to the governor,” whom they say is not the appropriate defendant in the case and “legally stands in exactly the same position” as Kane. Instead, the case should be handled by the health secretary, the filing stated.
Several-dozen couples filed the suit in September, asking the court to validate the license issued to them by Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes. Hanes was sued by the state after granting 174 licenses to same-sex couples last summer.
Both Kane and Corbett have been dismissed as defendants from a case filed in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of same-sex couples. The case goes to trial in June.
There are a number of other legal challenges to Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage pending in both state and federal court.