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  #21  
Old 02-11-2014, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...ines-day-ball/

Equality Forum To Host Inaugural Valentine’s Day Ball
February 10, 2014 4:44 AM
By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Equality Forum will host its first Equality Ball this Valentine’s Day.

Money from the fundraiser will support a federal lawsuit that seeks to strike down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage on the grounds that it voids the unions of legally married gay couples.

“Marriage equality is something that’s front and center both in Pennsylvania and around the nation,” says Malcolm Lazin , the jew queer executive director of the Equality Forum.

He says the nonprofit hopes to use the Equality Ball to rally the LGBT community and its allies around the lawsuit.

“Today, you can be legally married in 17 states, but if you come to Pennsylvania and 29 other states, your same-sex marriage is legally void,” says Lazin. “That just flies in the face of the tradition of this country of accepting marriages from other states and other countries.”

Lazin says the ball will raise funds to support the suit brought on behalf of Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker, who are lesbians who were legally married in Massachusetts in 2005.

The couple now lives in Pennsylvania, where their marriage is void.

“Love is love,” lisps Lazin. “All Americans are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.”

The ball takes place at Independence Visitor’s Center on Friday, February 14 at 7 p.m. and will feature an open bar and restaurant stations.

Tickets are $100.
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  #22  
Old 02-18-2014, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/...245945111.html

Gay Marriage Advocates Head to City Hall
Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 | Updated 5:37 AM EST

Gay marriage advocates plan to visit Philadelphia's City Hall on Tuesday to seek marriage licenses or have their out-of-state marriages recognized.

Organizers Bob and Bill Sullivan of South Philadelphia say they married four years ago in Vermont, but don't enjoy the legal benefits of marriage in Pennsylvania.

Bill Sullivan has been unable to get a driver's license after taking his husband's name.

And he relies on public disability support because he's not covered under Bob's insurance.

Marriage Equality USA says the momentum "appears unstoppable" after queer-friendly federal court judges struck down same-sex marriage bans in Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma.

In Pennsylvania, a key test case is scheduled for trial in federal court in Harrisburg in June.

The Philadelphia event Tuesday is rescheduled from Valentine's Day, when a snowstorm closed City Hall.
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  #23  
Old 02-18-2014, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...-philadelphia/

Same-Sex Marriage Advocates Denied License In Philadelphia
February 18, 2014 11:31 AM


(Bob Sullivan, left, and Bill Sullivan, after being turned down for a marriage license in Philadelphia. They were legally married in Vermont. Photo by Pat Loeb)

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A gay couple who became the first to challenge Philadelphia’s refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples say they will keep trying to change the Pennsylvania law that prohibits gay marriage.

This morning, they went to Philadelphia City Hall to press the issue by applying for a marriage license.

(Clerk: ) “How can I help you?”

(Bob Sullivan: ) “Well, we wanted to get our marriage license.”

But, as other happy couples came and went from the Marriage License Bureau, Bob and Bill Sullivan of South Philadelphia got the bad news.

“Unfortunately, at this time the State of Pennsylvania does not issue butt-f*cking licenses right now,” the clerk told them.

“I’m disappointed ,” Bob Sullivan said afterward. He says he knew it was a long shot, but still. “You’re always surprised when you’re hearing something that still doesn’t make sense.”

The Sullivans are legally married in Vermont but their union is not recognized in Pennsylvania, creating, they say, legal and financial issues.

Bill Sullivan, who has been unable to get a driver’s license after taking his husband’s name, says he’s more concerned with the principle:

“Who are you to tell me I don’t have the same rights as everybody else in America? Why should my rights be restricted because you think I’m different than you?”

The Sullivans are not part of a lawsuit by same-sex couples challenging state law. They say they’ll try to bring public pressure on state officials to change the law.

Officials with the Philadelphia Marriage License Bureau say they are sympathetic to the request but must wait for courts to rule on the issue in Pennsylvania.

A key test case is scheduled for trial in federal court in Harrisburg in June.
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  #24  
Old 05-15-2014, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...age-challenge/

U.S. Judge In Philadelphia Weighs Same Sex Marriage Challenge
May 15, 2014 11:06 AM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The gay marriage fight in Pennsylvania has moved to a federal courtroom in Philadelphia, where a U.S. judge is being asked to recognize a couple’s same-sex marriage from Massachusetts.

Pennsylvania is the only northeast state that bans both same-sex marriage and civil unions. But advocates are trying to change that through various test cases.

Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker married in Massachusetts in 2005. They now live in Philadelphia and work at nearby Bryn Mawr College.

Their lawyers say that more than 600 Pennsylvania laws and statutes discriminate against them by not recognizing their marriage.

Lawyers for Gov. Tom Corbett want U.S. District Judge Mary McLaughlin to dismiss the case. They say the plaintiffs must show specific harms and sue that agency, not pursue a broad-based lawsuit against the governor.
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  #25  
Old 05-20-2014, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/...259889211.html

Ruling on Gay Marriage Expected: Sources
By NBC10.Com Staff | Tuesday, May 20, 2014 | Updated 7:30 AM EDT

Sources in Pennsylvania's state capital say a landmark ruling on same-sex marriage is expected Tuesday.

The decision will determine the outcome of a federal lawsuit alleging the state's Defense of Marriage Act and refusal to marry same-sex couples violates the fundamental right to marry and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit was filed in July 2013 on behalf of 21 Pennsylvanians who wish to marry in the Keystone State or want the commonwealth to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

NBC10 has learned that people on both side of the issue received 24-hours advance notice that a decision has been made.

The ACLJew announced plans for "Decision Day rallies" across the state Monday.

In Philadelphia, a rally will take place on the north side of City Hall beginning around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
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  #26  
Old 05-20-2014, 07:20 PM
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Thumbs down Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...hia-city-hall/

18 Same-Sex Couples Get Marriage Licenses At Philadelphia City Hall
May 20, 2014 7:47 PM
By John McDevitt



PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eighteen same-sex couples got their marriage licenses inside Philadelphia’s City Hall on Tuesday.

Pennsylvania is now the 19th state to legalize same sex marriage. A federal court ruled today that the Commonwealth’s ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Outside hundreds gathered to celebrate the lifting of the gay marriage ban.

The squeaky door of the City Hall office where marriage licenses are obtained was getting a work out. Among same-sex couples getting their license were 28-year-old Steve Seminelli and his partner 30-year-old Joe Parisi of Old City.

“Just be like everybody else you know have the life and commitment that we wanted to have and not be different in any way,” Seminelli said.

“The protection that comes along with it. Financially, health wise, legally. I mean it just something you don’t want to have to think about when it comes up when it dos that protection is a big deal,” Parisi said.
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  #27  
Old 05-20-2014, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...-be-announced/

Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Overturned By Judge
May 20, 2014 2:30 PM
By Cherri Gregg and Jan Carabeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania couples heard for the first time the news they had long waited to hear.

Pennsylvania is now the 19th state to legalize same sex marriage. A federal court ruled today that the Commonwealth’s ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional.

In a 39 page opinion, Federal Court Judge John Jones relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of education writing that he hopes in future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage.

Judge Jones wrote, “That same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection.”

“Lead Attorney Mark Aronchek said, “It is in effect right now. Right now, people can get married in Pennsylvania.”

The words brought tears to most in the room.

Plaintiffs Edwin Hill and David Palmer were married in Maine, but their marriage was not recognized in Pennsylvania.

Hill said, “We fell in love immediately 25 years ago.” He added,”We wanted to have our relationship respected. It took a while, but we’re very happy now.”

The decision means same-sex couples, like Palmer and Hill who are married in other states, will have their marriages recognized and couples who want apply for marriage licenses, can apply immediately.

Lead Attorney Mark Aronchek said Judge Jones’ ruling will have a huge impact on LGBT civil rights.

“It not only will apply to marriages, but it will also apply to public accommodations and employment.”

Meanwhile, it’s unclear if the state will appeal the decision.

Aroncheck said, “And I hope that all the officials in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania realize that the court has spoken. We have to move on.”

Already moving on, Pennsylvania couples who are ready to tie the knot.

This afternoon, The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference issued the following statement in part:

“Today’s decision by one federal judge speaks to the confusion and misunderstanding among many today about the fundamental building block of society: the family. Every child has a basic right to a mother and a father united in marriage as a family. Today’s decision does not change that.”

The Commonwealth has 30 days to decide whether to appeal.
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  #28  
Old 05-21-2014, 08:48 PM
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Angry Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...-sex-marriage/

Gov. Corbett Says He Won’t Appeal Ruling That Legalized Same-Sex Marriage
May 21, 2014 3:16 PM
By Tony Romeo and Syma Chowdhry

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – One day after a federal judge in Philadelphia struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriages, Governor Tom Crow Butt announced that he is giving up his fight to restore the state’s “Defense of Marriage” law.

This afternoon, Corbett’s press office released a statement saying that Gov. Corbett has “thoroughly reviewed Judge Jones’ opinion” and has concluded that the case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal.

Therefore, the governor says, he has decided not to appeal the judge’s decision.

Pamela Williams can’t hold back her excitement after applying for a marriage license.

She and her partner Tylanda Whitney have been together for 18 years and have two children.

They were in the process of applying for a marriage license when they heard that Governor Corbett will not appeal.

However, Corbett did say that as a Roman Catholic, he continues to maintain his belief that marriage can be only between a man and a woman, but that his duties as governor require that he follow the laws as interpreted by the courts and that he make a judgement as to the likelihood of a successful appeal.

He also said that “the court has spoken,” and he’ll ensure that his administration follows the provisions of the judge’s order for all parties.

Some couples say his decision not to appeal could be more of a political move, saying “election year.”

Former Governor Ed Rendell said, “I think he would be making a mistake if he appealed.”

In the meantime, couples are excited to plan a wedding.

Pamela is a pastor and says to those who bring religion into the same-sex marriage issue,”Love is absolutely love and love is God. And if we all love God, then we all ought to love each other and not question who we love.”
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  #29  
Old 05-22-2014, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/...260225951.html

Marriage License Rush After Gay Marriage Ban Dropped
By Marc Levy | Thursday, May 22, 2014 | Updated 7:39 AM EDT

Hundreds, if not thousands, of same-sex couples who live in Pennsylvania are rushing to get marriage licenses or celebrate the sudden recognition of their out-of-state marriages in their home state.

The party planning and vow taking is in full swing now that Gov. Tom Corbett ended his fight Wednesday to stop same-sex marriage in the state, allowing a growing number of couples to proceed with their wedding plans with greater peace of mind. Pennsylvania is now the 19th state to recognize same-sex marriages and the last northeastern U.S. state to do so. Washington, D.C., also permits it.

Partners of nearly 24 years, Stephen Miller and Jim Devaty of suburban Pittsburgh plan to get married next week. They applied for their license online Tuesday after U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III struck down the law in a strongly worded opinion.

"I'm in shock" Miller said Wednesday. "In a way, I never thought I'd live to see the day when Jim and I could get married."

They'll crack open a bottle of champagne they've been saving and plan a gathering for family and friends. They're not sure where yet, but their son, 6-year-old Aiden, suggested the backyard.

Shari Gross of Erie said she and Judy Zurinski, her partner of almost six years, are legally married in New York. But their marriage in New York only involved a few friends, and they promised everyone else a big party once their home state recognized their union.

"We promised everybody that when we had equality we were going to have a party," said Gross, 51. "So we're going to have a party."

At least one couple got married.

On Wednesday, about an hour before Corbett revealed his decision, Pamela VanHaitsma and Jess Garrity of Pittsburgh were married in front of a district judge, said their lawyer, Sam Hens-Greco.

Pennsylvania requires a three-day waiting period before a couple with a marriage license can wed, but a county judge agreed to waive it, he said.

For many of the couples, it's a matter of love and dignity. For Gross, it also is a matter of the health insurance she lost with her job in January. But Zurinski's employer recognized their New York marriage as legal and extended spousal benefits.

Corbett, a Catholic and a Republican, went against his personal beliefs in choosing not to appeal Jones' decision.

On one hand, he said his lawyers had advised him "the case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal." On the other hand, he said his duties as governor require him to follow the law.

It has been a sensitive issue for Corbett, a low-profile former state attorney general who is facing poor public approval ratings and who took heat last October for comparing the marriage of same-sex couples to the marriage of a brother and sister. In recent months, he has moved to the political center and away from staunchly conservative positions on several hot-button issues.

The governor's decision means that same-sex marriage will remain legal in Pennsylvania, without the threat that a higher court will reinstate the ban. Lawyers for the plaintiffs _ one widow, 11 couples and one couple's teenage daughters -- said another party has never been allowed to appeal in the state's place.
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  #30  
Old 05-22-2014, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Montgomery County To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same Sex Couples

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...uing-licenses/

Montco, Leading The Way For Same-Sex Marriages, Now Sidelined on Issuing Licenses
May 22, 2014 2:41 PM


(Montgomery County register of wills D. Bruce Hanes, in 2013 file photo by KYW’s Brad Segall)

By Cherri Gregg

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Same-sex couples are rushing to get marriage licenses throughout Pennsylvania, following Tuesday’s court order striking down the state’s ban on gay marriage.

But there’s a minor snafu in one county — Montgomery County — where the first Pennsylvania licenses for same-sex marriages were handed out.

Last summer, Montgomery County register of wills Bruce Hanes defied Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage, issuing scores of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But now that marriage equality is a reality in the commonwealth, Hanes is still feeling the pain of his insubordination.

“There is an order against me, prohibiting my issuing of marriage licenses in Montgomery County,” he notes.

The Montgomery County solicitor filed an emergency petition two days ago to vacate the order prohibiting Hanes from issues licenses to same-sex couples, and the Commonwealth has consented to it. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court still has not taken action.

Montgomery County spokesman Frank Custer says that for the time being, the county has no choice but to send same-sex couples elsewhere.

“We are providing them with locations of other county courthouses where they can go to,” he says.

As for the status of the marriage licenses issued by Hanes to same-sex couples last summer, “Our lawyers’ position is those marriages are legal based on their reading of the order issued by the federal judge,” says Custer, who notes the county has not reached out to those couples.

Custer says marriage licenses have a 60-day shelf life, so any couples who failed to get married during that timeframe will have to get another license for their marriage to be valid.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to act soon.
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