Pennsylvania Celebrates End Of Same-Sex Marriage Ban As Couples Receive Licenses

LGBT advocates, same-sex couples, and other supporters of marriage equality rallied in celebration after a federal judge ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional — a decision leading many to rush to receive marriage licenses Tuesday.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Supporters of marriage equality in Pennsylvania rallied in celebration Tuesday after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on marriage between same-sex couples.

Shortly after the ruling, dozens rallied outside City Hall in Philadelphia holding signs reading “Love Wins!”

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

“Obviously all of us are excited,” Sims said. “It’s not lost on any of us. But Pennsylvania still doesn’t have basic civil rights protections for LGBT people.”

Indeed, the state lacks basic protections against discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity and expression” in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations.

“Now, there’s even more pressure on us to make it so that these families getting married don’t go back to their offices are fired for marrying their partners, or going home and getting evicted for hanging up a photo of them on their mantel,” he said. “I’m certain that 50% of the LGBT isn’t trying to get married tomorrow, but I know that 100% would be affected by a nondiscrimination law tomorrow.”

A similar rally was held in Harrisburg, where marriage equality supporters gathered on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Newly engaged, Jefferson Rougeau (left) and Steven Creps (right) cheered and posed for photos in front of the capitol building.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

And one of the plaintiff couples who brought the lawsuit challenging the ban, Julie Lobur (left) and Marla Cattermole (right), waved and looked on at supporters.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Meanwhile, same-sex couples flocked to county registers of wills to receive marriage licenses, like Ashley Wilson (left) and Lindsay Vandermany (right). However, state law requires all couples to wait three days before their marriages can be officiated.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

In some cases, orphans court judges could grant emergency waivers of the three-day waiting period, but according to Caren Berger, deputy in charge of litigation at the Orphans’ Court in Philadelphia, no such waivers have been granted to same-sex couples there as of late Tuesday afternoon.

“As far as we know, that has not happened,” Berger told BuzzFeed. “Right now, the three-day waiting period is in effect.”

This means that couples can receive their marriage licenses, but they have to wait three days to legally marry, she added.

Here’s another couple, Carolyn Caton (left) and Noelle Foizen (right), applying for a marriage license in Philadelphia.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

And here, Mike Tkach (left) and Bill Lechner (right) become the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in Erie County, Penn.

AP Photo/Erie Times-News Christopher Millette

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who defended the state’s ban on marriages for same-sex couples in court, has not yet said if he plans to appeal the ruling, but did say his office is reviewing the decision and will make a statement on Wednesday.

The Associated Press

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