Pa. same-sex couples get marriage licenses
NORRISTOWN — At least five same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses Wednesday in a suburban Philadelphia county that is defying a state ban on such unions.
Alicia Terrizzi and Loreen Bloodgood, both of Pottstown, were the only couple to marry right away, exchanging vows in a park before a minister and their two young sons.
“We're not setting out to be pioneers. We don't think our family is any different than anybody else,” said Terrizzi, a 45-year-old teacher. “We've been waiting a long time for this.”
The licenses issued in Montgomery County are believed to be the first to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania, the only northeastern state without same-sex marriages or civil unions.
A 1996 Pennsylvania law defines marriage as a civil contract in which a man and a woman take each other as husband and wife, and it says same-sex marriages, even ones entered legally elsewhere, are void in Pennsylvania.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit this month seeking to overturn the law.
Officials in the affluent and increasingly Democratic county signaled this week that they nevertheless would grant licenses to same-sex couples.
The county officials and the same-sex couples who marry could find themselves in court if Republican Gov. Tom Corbett or other state officials challenge their actions.
In other states with same-sex marriage bans, licenses issued by defiant local officials have been voided by courts.
“Today I feel like a full citizen,” said Marcus Saitschenko, 52, of Philadelphia, who came to the suburban courthouse with his partner of 22 years, James Goldstein. “We're just hoping that the state will recognize it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Bergdahl, speaking for 1st time, claims 12 attempts to flee Taliban
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Big croc predated dinosaurs, roamed North Carolina region
- Santorum: Obama opposition to fossil fuels ‘quasi-religious’
- Tractor-trailer hits construction beams over Interstate 35 in Texas
- Damaged Jersey shore pier to be rebuilt
- Report: DEA prostitutes paid by cartel
- $140M Picasso likely to set auction record
- Jackson Jr. leaves prison for halfway house
- Oklahomans devastated, yet grateful, amid twister cleanup
- Indiana governor defends religious objections bill signed into law