HARRISBURG, Pa. -

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett says it was inappropriate for his lawyers to include a reference to children in a legal brief involving same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses.

Corbett's administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to block a suburban Philadelphia clerk from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

State attorneys said in a court filing Wednesday that same-sex couples seeking to intervene in the state's lawsuit should be blocked from doing so because they had no legal right to marry in the first place. The lawyers then made an analogy to a pair of 12-year-olds, saying if the children were issued a marriage license and tried to defend it in court, they wouldn't be taken seriously because the license was never valid.

Corbett released a statement Thursday calling it a poor analogy.