Gay Couples Rush for Licenses in Pennsylvania
Same-sex couples in Pennsylvania clamored for marriage licenses after a judge ruled to allow the state to join the rest of the Northeast in legalizing gay weddings, with Philadelphia offices staying open late to handle a rush of applications.
Under state law, couples must wait three days after their application to get married unless a sympathetic judge grants a waiver. Before three days pass after Tuesday’s ruling, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett could appeal and effectively put it on hold, though he didn’t immediately indicate whether he would.
Joe Parisi, 30, and Steven Seminelli, 28, live in Philadelphia and were among the first to get a license Tuesday. They texted each other during work and decided they had to get a license as soon as they could, Parisi said.
"We didn’t want to take the chance of having this be challenged and missing out on our opportunity," he said.
A torrent of celebration was met by criticism from state Republicans, who as recently as 2012 endorsed a platform defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
"An activist judiciary has substituted its judgment in place of the law created by the elected representatives of Pennsylvania and has stifled the ongoing debate of people with differing points of view," party Chairman Rob Gleason said, citing a 1996 ban on gay marriage instituted by state legislators.