Pennsylvania mayor begins performing same-sex marriages in defiance of state ban
A Pennsylvania mayor began performing same-sex marriages on Monday despite a state ban, as he officiated the vows between a longtime couple from Pittsburgh.
KDKA-TV reported that Braddock Mayor John Fetterman served as the officiant for the marriage of Bill Gray and John Kandray after the two men obtained a license from Montgomery County, about four hours away. The couple has been together for 11 years.
“I just think it’s time people in Pennsylvania say, [Gov. Tom] Corbett (R), you know, tear down this law,” Fetterman said to KDKA. Fetterman also told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he is willing to marry any same-sex couple that has a license.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that 82 gay and lesbian couples had petitioned Montgomery County officials for marriage licenses since officials there began flouting state law in July 2013.
The state Department of Health is expected to file a brief to Commonwealth Court officials by Aug. 12 on its request the county stop doing so. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is working on a challenge of its own to the 1996 state law banning same-sex marriage and civil unions.
“We’re in love, happy, and active in communities, but we don’t have the same rights,” Kandray told the Post-Gazette after the ceremony on Monday. “We realized we were being discriminated against and wanted to take a stance for our families, friends, neighbors and same-sex couples like us. This is no different from past times when interracial couples were not allowed to marry.”
Watch KDKA’s report on Fetterman officiating Kandray’s wedding to Gray, aired Monday, below.