Lesbian Couple is Married in MontCo [UPDATED]
[Update: 11:57 am] AP reports Pennsylvania’s first gay marriage has taken place:
Two women have been married in a religious ceremony near Philadelphia after getting a same-sex license from county officials defying a state ban.
Alicia Terrizzi says she and Loreen Bloodgood didn’t set out to be pioneers, but simply wanted to take advantage of the opportunity offered by Montgomery County officials.
The 45-year-old Terrizzi and 40-year-old Bloodgood live in Pottstown with their two sons.
Officials in the third-largest county in Pennsylvania have agreed to issue same-sex marriage licenses, despite a state law that bans the practice
D. Bruce Hanes, of the Register of Wills Offfice in Montgomery County, says he wants to come down “on the right side of history and the law.”
Hanes was ready to issue a license to two women, the report says, but they decided to wait on an ACLU lawsuit challenging the state ban.
D. Bruce Hanes, Montgomery County Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphan’s Court, told the newspaper the women approached him last week. He researched the issue along with county lawyers and he decided to go forward, the newspaper reported.
“Based upon the advice of (my solicitor), my own analysis of the law and mindful of the attorney general’s belief that Pennsylvania’s marriage laws are unconstitutional, I decided to come down on the right side of history and the law and was prepared to issue a license to the couple,” he told the newspaper. “However, the women, for reasons of their own, decided this morning not to seek the marriage license at this time.”
Hanes’ decision could have statewide implications, bringing gay and lesbian Pennsylvanians to Norristown for licenses that could then be used for weddings anywhere in the state. The legality of those licenses would remain in question, however. Under Pennsylvania law, marriage is restricted to one man and one woman.