US: Couples begin to marry in Pennsylvania as same-sex marriage ruling comes into effect

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Same-sex couples across Pennsylvania have begun to marry, as the state’s marriage ruling comes into effect.

After Judge John Jones struck down a Constitutional marriage ban on Tuesday, legalising same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian couples across the state rushed to obtain marriage licenses.

Pennsylvania requires a three-day notice period for all couples intending to marry, and so the first weddings are now happening across the state.

In Philadelphia, eight same-sex couples married yesterday at City Hall, with Mayor Michael Nutter allowing them to use his gilded reception room at short notice for the occasion.

The eight couples, who are the first in the state to wed, were married simultaneously by the Mayor and seven judges, as family and friends looked on.

Adam Woods, 32, married his partner Justin Jain, 32, alongside the other couples.

Woods said: “We couldn’t really turn that [offer] down because it is such a historic day for our community, and for Philadelphia.”

Jain added: “I’m full of love and pride for our city, our community and each other.”

Catherine Hennessy, who married partner Kristin Keith, 42, said: “I’m 51. I never, ever thought I’d see this day. Never.

“I’m so excited — more excited than I could have dreamed.”

Of the ceremony, she said: “I could only look at Kristin. Time to move forward.”

Spanish teachers Oscar Cabrera and Chris DiCapua were able to finally marry nearly 20 years after they first started dating.

Cabrera said: “It always felt strange that 18-year-olds could marry somebody they met the day before, while we’ve been together 18 years and couldn’t get married.”

“We’re glad that we live in Philadelphia, which is very, very progressive.”

According to a Williams Institute study, Pennsylvania will make an extra $92.1 million (£55 million) from the first three years of same-sex marriage.