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Corbett compares gay marriage to incest

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Prepare to light the powder keg under Democrats: in a local TV interview this morning in Harrisburg Gov. Tom Corbett compared gay marriage to "brother and sister" incest.

Mark Scolforo at the AP has the story on the interview with WHP-TV in Harrisburg, in which the governor responded to a question on a legal filing from his office comparing gay and lesbian couples to children. Here's Mark:

Mr. Corbett, who previously called that statement inappropriate, now says he thinks "a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don't you?"

Note: The governor never uses the word "incest" and what he may be trying to imply is gay marriage is illegal in the state just as is marriage between brothers and sisters. It's right here in the domestic relations section of Pennsylvania law. Just search on the new word of the day: "consanguinity."

UPDATE 11:15 AM.

The governor issued an apology and explanation of his remarks:

"During a recent interview, I was asked to comment on the ruling by Judge Pellegrini that the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts did not have the power to decide the constitutionality of state laws.

"My words were not intended to offend anyone. If they did, I apologize.

"I explained that current Pennsylvania statute delineates categories of individuals unable to obtain a marriage license. As an example, I cited siblings as one such category, which is clearly defined in state law. My intent was to provide an example of these categories.

"The constitutional question is now before a federal court and that is the venue in which same-sex couples wishing to legally marry have standing to intervene and be heard. Same-sex marriage is an important issue and the question of its legal status is one that will be heard and decided upon its merits, with respect and compassion shown to all sides."

The comments come during fights over a Montgomery County clerk's now-halted move to issue marriage licenses to gay couples (largely condemned by voters too), a federal suit seeking to overturn the state's ban on such marriages (as well as new state legislation introduced to do so).

The governor's latest comments on a volatile social issue harken back to his 2012 support of forcing women to have ultrasounds before abortions -- "You can't make them watch it," Mr. Corbett said.

(Or: "You just have to close your eyes." Mary Wilson at WITF radio has a rundown of the guv's comments over the years.)

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