News (USA)

Same-sex couples racing to apply for marriage licenses in Pennsylvania

Same-sex couples racing to apply for marriage licenses in Pennsylvania
Marriage equality supporters gather on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg to celebrate a judge’s ruling striking down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage. Matt Rourke, AP

PHILADELPHIA — Gay and lesbian couples are racing to pick up marriage licenses in Pennsylvania after a federal judge threw out the state’s ban on same-sex unions.

County offices in Philadelphia are staying open late to give out applications. The office in Pittsburgh is taking applications online.

Couples must still wait three days to get married, unless a sympathetic judge grants a waiver.

Joe Parisi told his partner to “jet out of work” and get to Philadelphia City Hall.

“We didn’t want to take the chance of having this be challenged, and missing out on our opportunity,” said Parisi, 30, of Philadelphia, who plans to marry 28-year-old Steven Seminelli. They were among the first to get a license Tuesday afternoon, just hours after Jones’ ruling.

Parisi says they didn’t want to miss their chance. The licenses could be put on hold if Republican Gov. Tom Corbett appeals Tuesday’s court decision.

Corbett hasn’t said if he will appeal.

U.S. District Judge John Jones’ ruling calls the same-sex couples who challenged the ban “courageous.”

Pennsylvania was the last Northeast state to outlaw gay marriage.

Case archives: Whitewood v. Wolf

Developing story, check back for updates.

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