Pennsylvania taxpayers will pay a private law firm about $400 an hour to defend a 1996 state law that prevents gay and lesbian couples from marrying. The state of Pennsylvania wants to uphold the law while it is being challenged, two months after Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she wouldn’t defend the suit.
The law firm that will defend the suit and try to uphold the law is Lamb McErlane PC of West Chester, led by William H. Lamb, a former state Supreme Court Justice. Lamb will be paid approximately $400 an hour while his associates will earn $325 an hour. Additionally, state lawyers will also be paid to work upholding and defending the 1996 statute.
The 1996 law says, “marriage must be between a man and a woman, and that same-sex unions performed elsewhere cannot be recognized in Pennsylvania.” The ACLU challenged the law, and argued against it saying that the law is “unconstitutional and violates the equal protection and due process clauses” that would essentially protect against discrimination and “infringement on liberties.” State by state the defense of marriage laws are falling, and attorney generals across the country are not protecting the old laws. Officials are supporting a new and more equitable reading of the constitutionality and equal protection rights of gay and lesbian couples.