Government & Politics
1:51 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

After Ban Overturned, Same-Sex Couples Apply For Marriage Licenses In PA

Update (3:09 p.m.): Pennsylvania Won't Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Case

In overturning Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III concluded his nearly 40-page decision stating: “We are better people that what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”

Same-sex couples in Pennsylvania have been rushing for marriage licenses following the ruling, and while there were no lines at the City-County Building marriage license office at 9 a.m. Wednesday, some people did come down to finally take advantage of their right to marry.

Glowing couples posed for selfies outside of the office. Among them was Bill Rushlander and Rob Sauritch, who have been together for 13 years. Rushlander said the party will come later, but they wanted their marriage license right away.

“We knew we wanted to get married a long time ago, and we didn’t want to go to another state," he said. "We’re from Pennsylvania, born, raised, lived here, and we thought, if we can’t be recognized in the state we live in, we don’t want to go somewhere else, get married, and then come back and not be recognized. So we said whenever Pennsylvania recognizes it, we will do it. And here we are.”  

Some couples said they wanted to marry as soon as they could in case Gov. Tom Corbett decided to appeal the decision.

“We’ve been together for 15 years,” said Tammy Scott, who was there applying for a license with her wife, Heather Shavely. “We raised a family together, and we wanted to get down here before an appeal was put in place and make sure we make it official.”

Under state law, couples must wait three days after their application to get married unless a sympathetic judge grants a waiver. Before three days pass after Tuesday's ruling, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett could appeal and effectively put it on hold, though he didn't immediately indicate whether he would.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.