Friday, February 12, 2016

Ridge comes out for Corbett and gay rights

s former Gov. Tom Ridge's newfound support of gay marriage going to cause problems for Gov. Corbett's campaign?

Ridge comes out for Corbett and gay rights



Is former Gov. Tom Ridge's newfound support of gay marriage going to be a bit of a sticky wicket for Gov. Corbett's campaign?

 Ridge this week headlined the Log Cabin Republicans' "Spirit of Lincoln" dinner in Washington D.C. This is the LGBT wing of the GOP, the one that is usually camped out outside the party tent.

But his message on Wednesday was one of "Big Tent" inclusion. He took fellow Republicans to task for their "offensive and exclusionary" views on social issues and he said:

If we want a government that acknowledges our God-given right to freely choose how we live—in regard to marriage and others issues – we must demand a government that respects the rights of others to choose and follow their conscience just the same.

Ridge told the group his position on gay marriage had evolved in the 18 years since he took office as Pennsylvania governor. After all he signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 - the very law that Corbett is now fighting in federal court to protect.

Ridge told Buzzfeed that it's up t o the legislature to change the law or the federal judge to rule the law is unconstitutional.

“I respect Gov. Corbett, he’s a friend of mine — he’s just doing his job, and I think we just leave it at that,” Ridge said. “I think, in Pennsylvania and probably in many other states in the months and years ahead, you will continue to see an honest, rational — hopefully, rational — public debate and discussion about this issue. And I think it is worthy of public discussion.”

Ridge in an interview with this reporter two weeks ago, said he planned to campaign for Corbett and indeed made his first campaign season appearance with the sitting governor in Allentown this week to talk jobs.

But we wonder, will things get dicey if gay marriage comes up on the campaign trail with the two Toms on opposite sides of the fence?

Time and miles will tell.






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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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