Pennsylvania taxpayers will pay a private law firm at least $400 an hour to defend a 1996 state law that prevents gay and lesbian couples from marrying in the state, The Morning Call reports, two months after Attorney General Kathleen Kane withdrew from the suit.
The law firm, Lamb McErlane PC of West Chester, is headed by William H. Lamb, a former state Supreme Court justice. The state will pay Lamp $400 an hour and his associates will earn $325 an hour. State lawyers will also be paid for working on the case.
The 1996 state law says that marriage must be between a man and a woman, and that same-sex unions performed elsewhere cannot be recognized in Pennsylvania. The ACLU, which filed the challenge, is arguing that the measure is unconstitutional and violates the “the equal protection and due process clauses that protect against discrimination and infringement on liberties.”
The Corbett’s administration is also fighting a separate legal battle to stop a Montgomery County clerk from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
Last year, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) spent $2.3 million in taxpayer money to unsuccessfully defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in June.