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Area LGBT Community Celebrates DOMA Decision

PLAINS TOWNSHIP — In Pennsylvania, the fight for marriage equality continues, as the state does not recognize the marriage of same sex couples.

Still those in the gay and lesbian community celebrated the national victory Wednesday night of the Supreme Court’s decision that the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was invalid.

It was a night for those in the gay and lesbian community to come together to celebrate a major victory, as the nation`s highest court found the Defense of Marriage Act invalid.

A party was put together at the Woodlands Resort near Wilkes-Barre by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Rainbow Alliance.

“Incredible I can`t tell you, we were so moved, we were actually moved to tears, we stood up and we hardly knew what to do, we just started jumping around,” said Jennie Congelton of Dallas.

“It`s amazing, I can`t even express it,” said Linda Trompetter of Dallas.

Tompetter and Congelton have been together for 38 years.

They are so happy to hear that same sex couples will now be able to receive the same federal benefits given to straight couples in the 13 states that allow gay marriage.

“I think is very important, i think this is going to change our culture,” said Congelton.

But this win is bittersweet for the gay and lesbian community here in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is among 37 others that still does not recognize same sex marriage.

“We’re just very excited and we`re celebrating tonight but tomorrow we`re getting back to work,” said John Dawe with the NEPA Rainbow Alliance.

“Jennie and I are now retired and we`re thinking about estate planning and things like that, that we don`t reside in a state that allows it so we`re going to figure out how to navigate that,” said Trompetter.

Matthew Malani got married to his partner two weeks ago in a church that supports same sex unions. He`s hoping this decision will push Pennsylvania to accept his marriage.

“We would be able to have the same benefits as anyone else, our church recognizes our marriage. We just need to our state to recognize it now, “said Malani of Wilkes-Barre.

“I don`t think people realize all the privileges that you don`t have,” said Trompetter.

After the ruling the Diocese of Scranton issued a statement saying “This decision clearly opposes the Catholic Church’s belief and teaching that the sacrament of marriage…is a life-long loving of a man and a woman…”

“While the church’s defense of marriage should not be interpreted as an attack on individuals with same sex attractions, the truth of marriage as it has been taught by the church endures.”

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