Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Kathleen Kane, said on Thursday that she would not defend the state against a lawsuit to overturn a ban on same-sex marriage.
The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union with 23 plaintiffs, including 10 gay and lesbian couples, two teenage children of one couple and a widow who lost her partner of 29 years, cites a ruling last month by the Supreme Court striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
It was the first of a wave of lawsuits that activists are planning to file to expand the number of states allowing same-sex marriage, including in Virginia and North Carolina.
Attorneys general in Illinois and California have previously declined to defend their states in similar cases. In Pennsylvania, the general counsel’s office of Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, was seen as likely to pick up the defense.