Couples React To Ruling That Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal In PA - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Couples React To Ruling That Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal In PA

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"It was great. It means equality, civil rights and marriage," said Fernando Chang-Muy, his partner Len Rieser and their daughter Isabel. They are beaming with joy.

"It just puts a stamp of approval on the life we've been leading for the last 33 years," said Rieser.

The couple was part of a lawsuit, along with 21 other plaintiffs, against Governor Tom Corbett's Administration, that pushed for the U.S. District Court for the middle district of Pennsylvania to reverse the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Tuesday they joined a rally outside City Hall celebrating a Federal Judge's decision to overturn the ban.

"For us it's more of an endorsement of where we are. It's a way of telling ourselves who we are and where our relationship is," the couple said.

Many couples rushed to the Register of Wills office in City Hall immediately after the decision to get a marriage license.

"It was complete butterflies. I really thought Pennsylvania was going to be one of the last sates to do this. I've been waiting for this for so long. I'm so happy," said Noelle Foizen. She and her partner Carolyn Katon have been together more than a decade.

"It's a way for us to publicly celebrate our love and for our families to participate and to know especially for her mother and our parents to know we will take care of each other. It's also Social Security benefits afforded to us through marriage," said Katon.

The judge who handed down the ruling had powerful words to say which read in part: "In future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage. We

are a better people than what these laws represent and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history."

Fernando, Len and their daughter say they look forward to not having to explain who they are anymore or anyone else in the LGBT community.

"For the future generations that are coming up it's one less thing they have to struggle against," said Isabel.

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