HARRISBURG, Pa.— Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett said that incest should exist between men and women only when he tried to apologize for earlier comments that compared the marriage of same-sex couples to the marriage of a brother and sister.
Corbett made the comments Friday on WHP-TV in Harrisburg when an anchor asked if he could explain recent comments made by his lawyers in a court filing that compared the marriage of gay couples to the marriage of children because neither can legally wed in the state.
“It was an inappropriate analogy, you know,” Corbett admitted. “I think a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don’t you? Because incest isn’t allowed, and neither is gay marriage, but even if incest were legal, it should absolutely not take place between two brothers or two sisters or any siblings of the same sex.”
The anchor then questioned Corbett as to whether anyone has ever asked that incest be made legal in Pennsylvania.
“I don’t know. Probably. I mean, a lot of people want same-sex marriage to be legal, so nothing would surprise me,” remarked Corbett.
Ted Martin of Equality Pennsylvania called the governor’s remarks “shocking and hurtful,” and added that the chances of two siblings being gay and wanting to marry each other were “beyond astronomical.”
Pennsylvania is one of several U.S. states where gay-marriage advocates have yet to receive the right to get married. Its ban on same-sex marriage is being challenged in federal and state courts.
Corbett issued his third apology on the matter only hours after his television interview in a recorded statement, but still failed to mitigate his previous comments. “My words were not intended to offend anyone. If they did, I apologize. If they didn’t, then I’d like to remind you to register to vote.”
“I explained that current Pennsylvania statute delineates categories of individuals unable to obtain a marriage license,” he stated.
“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. There has to be a way to show the comparison between gay marriage and incest without offending anyone.”