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Marriage Decision Impacting County Offices

SCRANTON — Governor Tom Corbett said that he will not appeal a federal judge’s ruling allowing same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

Corbett said he believes a successful appeal is extremely unlikely.

In a statement the governor said:

“I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. My duties as governor require that I follow the laws as interpreted by the courts. The court has spoken.”

Governor Corbett’s announcement is important news for each county government in Pennsylvania.

The judge’s decision to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage will stand, meaning the officials who handle marriage licenses will have to change the way they do things.

Workers in the marriage license bureau in Lackawanna County were already making adjustments Wednesday morning.

At the top of a Pennsylvania marriage license application, there’s a place for each half of the union to fill out labeled bride and groom. But that label doesn’t match every marrying couple in Pennsylvania anymore.

“The applications until we know what’s going to happen in 30 days? White out. Applicant one, applicant two,” explained Lackawanna County Register of Wills Frances Kovaleski.

The Register of Wills staff in Scranton spent the day after the same-sex marriage decision using white out to make the applications gender neutral.

No same-sex couples came into the office to apply, though two couples did apply online.

Kovaleski says she expects the state to permanently change the application form if the decision is made final next month.

“I don’t believe anyone should have to declare themselves, male, female. It doesn’t matter to me. I just think that applicant one and applicant two is the way to go.”

Doing away with the words bride and groom has members of the religious community in Lackawanna County divided

Bishop Joseph Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton said in a statement that the Catholic Church still sees marriage as being between a man and a woman, but:

“Catholic teaching is not a judgment about persons who experience same-sex attraction, but a statement about how the Church has always understood the nature of marriage itself.”

Across the street from the cathedral church of the diocese is St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, where interim priest Fr. Craig Sweeney saw the decision as a positive sign of things to come for Pennsylvania and the Church.

“Marriage, as far as I’m concerned, is just a contract made before witnesses and especially when they do it in the church, before God. And so, there’s no reason that I can think of that if two people are in love that they shouldn’t have that right,” said Fr. Sweeney.

According to officials in Lackawanna County, there’s a 30 day period that the federal judge’s decision can be appealed and then possibly changed. But the governor’s decision not to appeal means that the decision to legalize same sex marriage in Pennsylvania will not be reversed.

20 comments

  • JoelCZ

    LMAO…

    You are calling sexual attraction between the same gender “evolving”. So animalistic…. Actually you all are going backwards and u don’t even realize it…..lmao!!!

  • god forgive us

    Corbett and other fake conservatives must go! This perverted nonsense will not last. Our country will come back to God and morality, and all of these false laws will be overturned eventually. Thank God for the Catholic Church founded by Christ Himself; it will always stand fast and never accept the perversions of society!

      • god forgive us

        You are so full of nonsense! History has nothing to do with it; history repeats itself. This perversion will pass as it always has and morality will once again be put in force. Other societies have accepted homosexual perversion, and they have fallen. It is not history that determines morality; it is God, and He will not be mocked! You and the others like you who think you have the right to pick and choose what is moral, will fade into history, and only be known as sinners along with the perverts of Sodom and Gomorah.

  • Sarah

    A little white out didn’t deter us from one of the happiest days of our lives! Not sure if we were the first, but after nearly 7 years together we got our marriage license in the great Electric City this morning. Love is love and love has won! We have been engaged but wanted to get married in our home state. Couldn’t be more thrilled that we now can! :)

  • mdog

    Wait to see how many non married” heterol “spouses lose coverage
    to feed this, its a fact its a shame liberals have to destroy
    others lives to fulfill an agenda.Personally you all deserve it.
    I Think its Hillarious !!

    • ryry

      Why is it sad? People who were “single” in the eyes of the state can now marry, and no longer get a “single” person tax break. Now it will be a ‘married’ tax brake which is less. Same goes for Public Assistance. Before people who were “single” and received the max amount $189 each, now they will be married, and get less in public assistance about $130 for two people. And in turn will save the state millions, if not billions in tax, and public assistance. The same goes for car, and health insurance, the single people paid less, now they will have to pay more for their deductibles. And no more people will be able to get more for home loans, making the housing market better.

    • ryry

      Not you Bill :p
      The website was loading the page, and I selected to reply to you, instead of tightwad Brad down below.
      And yeah, he only wasted a few million on this case, and lost like everyone knew he would. Its ok, he will just siphon money from something else to make up the loss then tax something else.

    • ryry

      Why is it sad? People who were “single” in the eyes of the state can now marry, and no longer get a “single” person tax break. Now it will be a ‘married’ tax brake which is less. Same goes for Public Assistance. Before people who were “single” and received the max amount $189 each, now they will be married, and get less in public assistance about $130 for two people. And in turn will save the state millions, if not billions in tax, and public assistance. The same goes for car, and health insurance, the single people paid less, now they will have to pay more for their deductibles. And no more people will be able to get more for home loans, making the housing market better.
      So, I don’t see why its sad. If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get a gay marriage. Simple!

    • ryry

      Why is it sad? People who were “single” in the eyes of the state can now marry, and no longer get a “single” person tax break. Now it will be a ‘married’ tax brake which is less. Same goes for Public Assistance. Before people who were “single” and received the max amount $189 each, now they will be married, and get less in public assistance about $130 for two people. And in turn will save the state millions, if not billions in tax, and public assistance. The same goes for car, and health insurance, the single people paid less, now they will have to pay more for their deductibles. And now more people will be able to get more for home loans, making the housing market better.

  • Kathy Rine

    Register of wills staff in Scranton is using White out to make applications gender neutral on same sex marriage applications. I was always under the impression that “white out” shouldn’t be used on documents. Is this practice okay?

    • Heather H

      They used white out on my marriage licence 16 years ago….my marriage was legal…and they used it to change the license number which is important. …not something stupid like bride or groom

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