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Auditor General: Corbett fiscally irresponsible if he appeals same-sex marriage ruling

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Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said it would be fiscally irresponsible for Gov. Tom Corbett to appeal yesterday’s landmark court ruling that permits same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania.

“With outside legal counsel charging state taxpayers $300-400 per hour, for what would likely be hundreds of hours of work, an appeal of yesterday’s court ruling could quickly reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” DePasquale said. “That is money the state cannot afford right now, especially with the estimated budget shortfall approaching $1 billion that legislators will need to fill in the next six weeks.”

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled unconstitutional the state’s 1996 ban on same-sex marriages. This morning hundreds of same-sex couples lined up at court houses across the state to apply for marriage licenses.

“The tidal wave of marriage equality sweeping across the country has finally hit Pennsylvania,” DePasquale said. “Instead of wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to deny marriage equality, the money would be much better spent on reading, math and other education programs in our schools.”

According to state Treasury records released today, since June 2013 the Corbett Administration has spent at least $588,000 tax dollars for outside legal counsel in an attempt to maintain a ban same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

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