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Faster than a speeding bullet

Published August 10. 2013 09:02AM

She might be the biggest crusader for truth and justice since Clark Kent.

Kathleen Kane is the Clarks Summit mother of two elected attorney general in January on the promise of facing down "the boys in Harrisburg."

And she apparently means what she says.

The former Lackawanna County district attorney stormed into Dauphin County firing on all cylinders.

One of her first investigations is focusing on the top man - Governor Tom Corbett - and his handling, or mishandling, of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Records show that Corbett's campaign received tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from Sandusky's Second Mile Charity and its board members.

The public wants to know how that money may have impacted Corbett and his slow response to complaints against the former Penn State football coach and convicted pedophile.

"We're doing a comprehensive investigation ... and leaving no stone unturned," says Kane.

This summer, Kane stunned some in the state capital by announcing that she won't defend the state's ban on gay marriage.

"I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's version of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), where I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional," she says.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast to not allow gay marriage and civil unions, nor recognize legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

In essence, Pennsylvania's DOMA law is an attempt to legalize discrimination against a minority population. It specifically targets a minority group for the sake of denying rights. It's a law not based on principles of civil equality, but rather on personal prejudices and perhaps myopic religious views. Clearly, there are still many who do not understand the concept of separation of church and state.

Many Pennsylvania lawmakers are out of step with prevailing attitudes nationally and even within the Commonwealth.

A recent Franklin & Marshall poll shows a statewide shift toward acceptance of gay marriage. Fifty-two percent of registered Pennsylvania voters are in favor, while 41 percent oppose. Still, Corbett vows to defend the discriminatory law and will do so using taxpayer-paid attorneys. Critics see the move as a senseless waste of public money.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court deemed a big part of the federal DOMA to be unconstitutional.

In a country founded on the principle of equal rights, it's only a matter of time before all marriages attain equality regardless of gender. Truth is, even places such as South Africa, Uruguay and Paraguay recognize same-sex unions.

Eventually, Pennsylvania will be forced by courts to put an end to its state-sanctioned prejudice. In fact, the state already is being sued.

In July, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit, known as Whitewood versus Corbett, on behalf of 23 state residents. The plaintiffs are 10 couples, one widow, and two minor children. The couples want to marry, they want the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages, and they want equal protections, same as those granted to straight married couples.

For them, it's not a partisan Democrat or Republican issue. And it's not a conservative versus liberal issue. Instead, it's a civil rights issue. An equality issue. A pursuit of happiness issue.

Lawyers believe the case is ultimately bound for the Supreme Court, something Kane likely recognizes.

Actually, Kane as the current AG, has been named a defendant in the suit. But she's made it clear she supports equal rights and same-sex marriage, and will not defend what she sees as an unconstitutional law.

Her critics say she has an obligation to enforce the law despite personal beliefs. But unjust laws demand courageous action. Courageous action rights wrongs and makes history. Rosa Parks knew this on December 1, 1955, when the black woman refused to give up her bus seat in deference to whites, and was arrested. But she died a hero. The ugliness of prejudice eventually gets purged.

State government should never sanction discrimination. Lawmakers cannot justify bias against fellow citizens based on fear, ignorance or religious beliefs.

Kathleen Kane has taken a stand. True to campaign promises, she's fighting the good fight, from the Sandusky scandal to equal rights. Godspeed along the way.

Change is afoot in the Keystone State. Superman has arrived wearing lipstick and long, dark hair.

The biggest stones in Harrisburg belong to a woman.

And she's fighting for truth, justice and the American way.

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