Pa. attorney general won’t defend gay marriage ban

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Defending Pennsylvania’s law effectively banning same-sex marriage against a legal challenge in federal court will fall to Gov. Tom Corbett.

Pennsylvania’s elected attorney general, Kathleen Kane, said Thursday that she won’t defend the law.

Kane is a supporter of same-sex marriage; Corbett is an opponent. Both were named in a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday seeking to overturn the law and legalize same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania law says it’s the attorney general’s duty to defend the constitutionality of state laws. But Kane argues that the law also allows her to authorize the governor’s lawyers to defend a lawsuit if it’s in the state’s best interests. She also says professional conduct rules make it an ethical obligation to withdraw from a case in which a lawyer has a fundamental disagreement with the client.

Corbett’s office isn’t commenting on the lawsuit.

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