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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 26, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 30
Lesbian couple marries in Pennsylvania - County officials issue licenses in defiance of state law
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Lesbian couple marries in Pennsylvania - County officials issue licenses in defiance of state law

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Alicia Terrizzi and Loreen Bloodgood were married July 24 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, after Montgomery County officials defied state law to issue them a marriage license.

'We've been waiting a long time for this,' Terrizzi said. 'We're not setting out to be pioneers. We don't think our family is any different than anybody else.'

Terrizzi and Bloodgood were one of two Lesbian couples who got licenses on July 24, and they married in a religious ceremony immediately afterward.

The Rev. Craig Andrussier, a nondenominational minister licensed to perform weddings in Pennsylvania, said he married the pair in a brief ceremony in a park. Only the women and their sons were present, but they have a larger ceremony planned next week with family and friends, he said.

'I feel great. I feel honored,' Andrussier said. He called the wedding ceremony something 'they can tell their grandchildren about.' The other license went to Sasha Esther Ballen and Diana Lynn Spagnuolo of Wynnewood.

'RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY'
Montgomery County registrar D. Bruce Hanes said on July 23 that he would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after being contacted by yet another Lesbian couple.

He wanted to come down 'on the right side of history and the law,' Hanes said.

The couple who originally contacted Hanes ultimately decided not to pursue a marriage license after talking with the ACLU, which has filed a separate lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's law against same-sex marriage. ACLU warned the couple that their marriage could be overturned if it happened before a court decision striking down state law.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has stated she will not defend her state's anti-equality law in court.

The chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners predicted that marriage equality will come to Pennsylvania. 'It's a question of how long it will take, and what will be the legal process to achieve it. But we know we will be a part of that,' Josh Shapiro said.

Kane, Hanes, and Shapiro are all Democrats. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, a Republican, did not return phone calls from reporters asking for comment on same-sex marriage licenses.

Montgomery County includes suburbs of Philadelphia as well as more rural areas to the northwest. It is the state's third most populous county and one of the wealthiest. Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast that does not allow either same-sex marriages or civil unions.

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