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Same-sex couples begin applying for marriage licenses - abc27 WHTM

Same-sex couples begin applying for marriage licenses

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Same-sex couples have begun applying for marriage licenses now that Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage has been overturned by a federal judge.

Sabrina Lay and her partner waited in the rain outside the Dauphin County Courthouse for about an hour before the doors opened Wednesday.

"It wasn't our intention to be first," Lay said. "It's very significant to be validated in the state that we live in."

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled Tuesday that same-sex couples who seek to marry may do so, and he also ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Chris Dietz and Alex Reiber filled out paperwork seeking an emergency petition that would allow their marriage to be recognized immediately.

"I think it's important for both of us to have it be equal, and to have it be recognized under the law and have the same rights and obligations as all married couples do," Reiber said.

Rev. Eric Posa, a Unitarian minister, came to the courthouse to offer his Harrisburg church for same-sex weddings on Saturday.

"I am here to show support for couples who have been seeking recognition for their marriages for so long, and finally have the opportunities that they have been denied," Posa said.

In Lancaster, two couples applied for their marriage licenses as soon as the county courthouse opened this morning. They're not only thrilled for themselves and other gay couples, but also for the support they've received and the speed of Jones's ruling.

"It's really exciting to get so much support from allies, so many friends, but now 500 more people," Erica Milner said. "We haven't heard anything negative."

York councilman David Satterlee and his soon-to-be husband, Will Guntrum, were among two couples waiting at the York County Courthouse before the doors opened.

Satterlee and Guntrum, the county's first same-sex couple, has been together for 13 years. Getting married is something they've been anxiously awaiting, and they were surprised, humbled and grateful for the ruling.

"I just can't believe it," Satterlee said. "It seems kind of surreal, like it's kind of a weird dream we're in; humorous in an odd way. It's just unbelievable."



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