(Reuters) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett drew fire on Friday when he compared gay marriage to incest only weeks after he apologized for a state legal filing comparing same-sex marriage to the marriage of children.
Asked to comment on a case in which a Pennsylvania court last month ordered a county clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses, Corbett apologized for an earlier claim by the state that is does not allow gay couples to marry in the same way that it does not allow 12-year-olds to marry.
“I think the appropriate analogy would have been brother and sister, don’t you?” Corbett, a Republican, told an interview on WHP television.
The comment drew a swift critical response from inside and outside the state.
“Tom Corbett’s absurd comparison of same-sex marriage to the marriage of a brother and sister is offensive and demeaning to the millions of Pennsylvania families he claims to represent,” said Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who chairs the Democratic Governor’s Association.
Vermont is among the 13 U.S. states, in addition to the District of Columbia, that currently allow gay marriage.
Pennsylvania is one of several U.S. states where gay-marriage advocates are battling for the right to wed.