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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • First gay Pike couple gets marriage license

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  • MILFORD - Getting a Pennsylvania marriage license was more emotional than expected for Cary Giacalone and Kris Jarmann of Dingman Township.
       They have been together for 14 years and three years ago they held a commitment ceremony to cement their relationship, although that ceremony did not give them the legal benefits granted to a married couple.
      "We thought it wouldn't happen in Pennsylvania until it happened federally," Giacalone said. "I never believed it would happen in my lifetime."
       Giacalone, 59, and Jarmann, 54, planned to get married in New York in June, but that changed Tuesday when a federal judge ruled that Pennsylvania's law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
       They called the courthouse Tuesday afternoon shortly after the ruling was announced to see if Pike County was issuing sex marriage certificates.
       "We shouldn't have to do that," Giacalone said, and added that one day, it will simply be called marriage, with no distinction of being same sex.
       Now instead of having a small wedding with a few people in New York, they will be able to have a larger event and invite their local friends.
       Giacalone leads the Milford based Delaware GLBT Center's youth group.
       "Now that we can invite them and share this with them, that means the world to me," Giacalone said.
        While chatting in front of the Pike County Courthouse, another same-sex couple from Milford walked past. Giacalone and Jarmann asked if they were getting a license too. The couple, who preferred to keep their names private, said they were getting a license. Among the four men in front of the courthouse, infectious smiles, hugs and congratulations were shared.
        The first same-sex marriage license issued in Pike County went to Sean Strub and Racmel Javier Morales of the historic Hotel Fauchère, who have been together for 21 years. Instead of going to New York to be married, Morales said they were waiting for Pennsylvania to do the right thing.
        "I am really excited, that we can now have same-sex wedding ceremonies at the hotel," Strub said. "The fact that people can get married in other states nearby has cost Pennsylvania's hospitality industry millions of dollars in wedding business. So this should help level the playing field a bit."
       By noon Wednesday, Pike County had issued three same-sex marriage licenses.

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