Treasurer Rob McCord, a Democratic candidate for governor, has asked a federal court to allow him to offer a formal argument in favor of a same-sex married couple challenging Pennsylvania's marriage law.
In his argument in federal court in Philadelphia, Mr. McCord includes personal reflections on how his own interracial marriage would have been illegal in many states within his lifetime.
Echoing a point he has made in campaign appearances, Mr. McCord's filing notes that, "The issue of marriage equality is very personal to me. My own interracial marraige, had it ocurred when I was born (and not 27 years later) would have been illegal in many states.''
In his brief to the U.S. District Court, McCord wrote: "Litigation before this Court revisits the issue of state laws that selectively recognize marital rights, replacing racially based barriers with a newly identified obstacle -- sexual orientation."
Mr. McCord argues that the issue is relevant to his official duties in that, in a variety of contexts, including pension rights, instances of unclaimed property, and the state's tuition savings plan, he may be called upon to enforce regulations that, in his view, discriminate against same sex-marriage.
"As treasurer, I oversee a broad range of public programs and benefits. Too often, our state's marriage law forces me to implement these programs and convey benefits in ways that may deprive people of their equal rights. I believe that is morally wrong and should be illegal. The statute places me in the untenable -- and personally disturbing -- position of enforcing and complying with a discriminatory law," McCord said.
Mr. McCord's views on marriage equality are broadly shared by other condidates for the Democratic nomination for governor, but a press release issued by his office notes that he is the first state elected official to argue that position in a formal legal proceeding.