Pennsylvania county grants 100th same-sex marriage license

By : Wire Report
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Philadelphia (AP) – A suburban Philadelphia county defying Pennsylvania’s marriage law issued its 100th same-sex license Aug. 9, just weeks after opening the courthouse door to gay men and women.

Montgomery County Democrats behind the quiet rebellion said they want to be on the right side of history.

However, it’s not clear the new unions will survive a legal challenge from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration. And it’s even less clear whether they will be recognized when it comes to health insurance, taxes and other benefits.

“Our philosophy has always been that we would never go to another state to pursue marriage, that marriage would have to come to us,” said Virginia “Ginny” Perrine-Wilson, 45, of Lansdowne in neighboring Delaware County, who picked up the 100th license Friday. “We decided this is about as close as it gets.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is trying a different tack to bring gay marriage to Pennsylvania, the last holdout state in the Northeast.

The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the state’s 1996 marriage act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. That suit could take years to wind through the courts.

In the meantime, 30 same-sex couples have married since Montgomery County awarded the first license July 24. Their actions amount to civil disobedience, one Temple University history professor believes.

“They’re acting in that long tradition of dissent: women fighting for suffrage, blacks fighting for civil rights,” said Professor Ralph Young, who teaches a class on and has a book on dissent in America. “They’re trying to force the government to do something.”

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