HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – The first gay couple was married this afternoon in Monroe County. This, less than a week after same-sex marriage became legal here in Pennsylvania.
Jeff Robbins and Paul Owens were married just a few hours ago at a district judge’s office in Monroe County.
The two men couldn’t wait to say ‘I-do’ after waiting 25 years for their wedding to legally be allowed in PA – and more importantly, the benefits that go along with marriage.
Jeff Robbins and Paul Owens were both nervous and excited – just like any couple about to marry. But their wedding near Stroudsburg is anything but routine.
The two men were the first to apply for a marriage license in Monroe County after Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage was ruled illegal just last week.
Owens and Robbins say the community’s reaction has surprised them -
“We were amazed at the support the community gave to us, wherever we went people came and said hey, you guys were on TV. Good for you, I`m for you, I`m with you, it`s your right,” said Jeff Robbins of Hamilton Township.
The ceremony was simple here near Stroudsburg. The two didn’t even exchange rings, just simple ‘I-do’s’ in front of their friends and a district judge.
Wrapped up with an embrace between the partners.
“I am very, very happy, this is one of the most joyous parts of my life, it is a peak experience,” said Paul Owens of Hamilton Township.
The newlywed’s friends say they too married in Massachusetts years ago when gay marriage became legal there.
“I teased paul and I said he`s finally being made honest today, so they`re both very excited as we are for them, said Alberto Martin of Kresgeville.
This first same-sex couple to be married here in Monroe County say the best part about the ceremony is the legal benefits they gain from it.
“We`re just normal guys and we`re just asking for some rights that we think we deserve,” said Robbins.
The men say they look forward to the more than one-thousand federal right’s they’ll benefit from, now a happily *married* couple.
Right’s their other gay friends are also now benefiting from who married in other states.
“Social security, insurance, all of those things are very important. It`s not about walking down the aisle,” said Jerry Popolis of Kresgeville.
Rights this wedding will now give them in Pennsylvania, till death do they part.
Robbins and Owens say they didn’t have anything big planned to celebrate today. They plan to have a ring ceremony in July and celebrate their marriage with friends and family.