Governor compares gay marriage to incest

Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is in hot water after he compared same-sex marriage to incest in a TV interview.

The governor was speaking about same-sex marriage on WHP-TV when one of the anchors asked about a statement his legal team made in a recent court filing. That statement compared the marriage of gay couples to child marriage. (Via WNEP)

Gov. Corbett offered a “better” comparison.

CORBETT: “It was an inappropriate analogy, you know. I think a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don’t you?”

REPORTER: “I don’t know.”

And the response has been swift.

“This is profoundly sad and disturbing. … It makes me wonder, does Mr. Corbett have any gay friends? … The majority of Pennsylvanians support marriage equality, but even those who don’t respect gay people.” (Via WCAU)

This is the latest in a string of gubernatorial gaffes made by Gov. Corbett, who is up for re-election this year. He made comments that people would rather stay on unemployment than take available jobs. He also blamed Pennsylvania’s growing unemployment rate on would-be workers failing drug-screening tests. (Via The Philadelphia Inquirer)

But rather than issue an apology for his most recent controversy, he offered an explanation.

“Current Pennsylvania statute delineates categories of individuals unable to obtain a marriage license. As an example, I cited siblings as one such category. … My intent was to provide an example of these categories.” (Via KYW-TV)

But a Maddow Blog writer isn’t buying his explanation, writing: “It’s tempting to think the governor will need to issue another apology, but at this point, it would be neither sincere nor believable. Instead, maybe Corbett should wake up and realize it’s the 21st century — and bigotry isn’t funny.”

According to USA Today, Corbett has some of the lowest job-approval ratings in the country and is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the 2014 elections. Pennsylvania House Democrats are using the very public backlash as an opportunity to boost their agenda.

“They say they’re confident it’s only a matter of time until their Pennsylvania Marriage Equality Act becomes law. They point to growing support for gay rights and say that’s all the more reason to start putting pressure on the Republican-controlled state legislature now.” (Via WGAL)

Pennsylvania currently bans gay marriage, although one county has been issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Corbett’s administration has filed to force that county to stop.

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