Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett compared gay marriage to incest. The Governor's administration previously made the comparison to marriage between children, but Corbett walked that statement back and replaced it with the incest comment that aired on Friday morning TV.
"It was an inappropriate analogy, you know," Corbett said when asked about the previous comparison between same-sex marriage and child marriage. "I think a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don't you?" he said on WHP-TV in Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania does not allow gay marriage or civil unions, but gay advocates are currently challenging traditional marriage in federal and state courts. Corbett reportedly believes that the challenge does not belong in a federal court but should stay within the state's court system, which he promised would be treated with "respect and compassion shown to all sides."
After making the remark on TV, Corbett apologized in a statement released to the press. He said his "words were not intended to offend anyone." The segment for TV was taped on Monday but aired on Friday; the apology came after the show aired.
"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," Corbett's statement read.
His attorneys previously made a comparison between gay marriage and marriage between children, which upset the Governor's constituents who are also same-sex marriage advocates.
"He's just out of touch on this one," Mark Aronchick, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the federal case, told the Associated Press. "Gay people marry for the same reasons straight people do – to express their love and to declare their commitment before friends and family."
"Had the clerk issued marriage licenses to 12-year-olds in violation of state law, would anyone seriously contend that each 12-year-old … is entitled to a hearing on the validity of his 'license'?" the state wrote, according to Philly.com.