Mark Segal Calls on Philly Register of Wills to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

The longtime gay-rights advocate says it's time to join the battle, already!

Last week, as Montgomery County handed out its 100th same-sex marriage license, it was reported that Philadelphia is second to MontCo in number of couples who have received licenses. That’s great and all, but we’re living in one of the gay-friendliest cities in the world. Should we really have to travel out to Montgomery County to get a marriage license? No offense to MontCo, but come on.

In an op-ed on, Philadelphia Gay News publisher and stalwart LGBT-right advocate Mark Segal called on the Philadelphia register of wills to follow D. Bruce Hanes lead and start issuing marriage licenses to queer couples in Philly: 

Here in Philly, [the office of register of wills] is still debating if they should join the battle. The state most likely will come in and attempt to stop the issuing of licenses, but that is what a civil rights movement is all about: creating cracks in the wall of oppression. This step may be symbolic, but it is symbolic measures like this that build a legacy of tolerance and inclusion. By issuing licenses you will give members of the LGBT community the legal rights they need to fight the system. Marriage equality is supported by a majority of Pennsylvanians and a much larger percentage of Philadelphians.

In reality in Philadelphia, it’s not a big deal. Our mayors have officiated over same-sex marriages already. Our delegations to both the state House of Representatives and state Senate are overwhelmingly partners in equality. This city has always fought for civil rights and as President Obama has stated, this is the civil rights issue of our time.

It’s easy to stay on the sidelines, but let me assure you. If you join the good battle, you’ll like the face you look back at in the mirror.

What do you say we all call on the register of wills — Ronald R. Donatucci, Esq. — to follow suit and begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses to same-sex Philadelphians? Tell him that Philadelphia is used to leading on issues like this, but it’s not too late to get on the right side of history. Donatucci’s office is located in Room 180 of City Hall. The telephone number is 215–686-6250.

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