HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Gov. Tom Corbett’s comments on a CBS Television station in Harrisburg ignited a firestorm.
“There was a controversial remark made by a member of your legal team comparing gay marriage to the union of 12-year-olds saying both are illegal, and you called that inappropriate,” WHP-TV anchor Sherry Christian asked Corbett.
“It was an inappropriate analogy,” Corbett responded. “I think a better analogy would be brother and sister, don’t you?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Comparing gay marriage to an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister brought immediate criticism from many.
“I think that’s a completely insensitive comment,” Len Mafrica told KDKA Politics Editor Jon Delano.
“I don’t think there’s a comparison. There’s no similarities at all,” said Cheryl Hajduk of Bethel Park.
Chase Carmichael noted, “That’s incest. That isn’t anything like gay marriage,”
Local gay advocacy groups said Corbett is just out of touch with both straight and gay citizens.
“To compare two loving people to incest is just absolutely moronic,” said Gary Van Horn, president of the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh, a local advocacy group for the LGBT community.
The Governor’s Democratic opponents in next year’s election, most of whom support gay marriage, jumped all over his statement, including state treasurer Rob McCord who was campaigning in Pittsburgh Friday.
“I mean the cringe factor. You just get embarrassed. I’m shocked at this Governor who is so often misguided had a chance to look at a really wrong-headed statement from somebody on his staff and when going out there to correct it managed to insult people again,” said McCord.
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, also running for governor, noted, “Gov. Corbett’s demeaning and insensitive comments have brought shame to the Commonwealth he was elected to represent.”
WATCH GOVERNOR’S COMMENT:
Hearing the uproar, by mid-afternoon Friday, Corbett sought to walk back his comments.
“I apologize to anybody who feels offended by that. I know this is an issue for the courts or the legislature to make a determination, and I hope the people will accept that apology,” he said.