First Same-Sex Couple Marries in Monroe County

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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.


  • bill williams

    Ummm…couple of questions…first,..what is with the possessive use of the word rights? and secondly did they really say it isn’t about walking down the isle but rather the benefits they reap now being a “papered” couple? Really…that’s most important?

    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.

  • A

    We all know that there’s a serious problem here.

    When will people learn? How could something like this happen?

    Gay people are showing up everywhere and demanding all of this crazy stuff.

    We need to stop the tide. We need to criminalize heterosexuality, since that’s how all of these gay babies are being born!

  • Pete

    Human design pretty much speaks for itself. The male body and the female body fit, they compliment each other. It is that union that allows us to reproduce and thrive. I’m not bashing gay people here, just making a simple observation using common sense. I’m all for bucking the system in any way possible, but if that is what nature/God intended then we never would’ve made past the first generation. There would be no generations. I know they claim they are wired that way, but some people are wired to put babies in the oven, or set animals on fire. With that mentality, there should be no prisons, no asylums, because I’m sure the majority of those people were just doing what makes them happy because they were “wired” that way, so we should defend their happiness; right?. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should or that it’s right. There aren’t exceptions to this, only perversions of it. I personally feel so sorry for the society that chooses to doubt the obvious and accept the perversion, and I’m ashamed to be a part of the plague that humanity has become. It’s as simple and obvious as putting together a two-piece jigsaw puzzle. Sure, you can alter it to suit your individual creativity and taste, you can frame it and proudly display it on your wall, but it will have a big hole in it and unfortunately and inevitably a small part of the population will look at that hole in the puzzle and find it complete the way it is, and sadly, even a smaller part will probably begin to find that hole sexually appealing as well. But it isn’t, it’s broken. Just broken.

    I’m saying this without a shred of hate or condemnation, but as a guy that can put together a two piece jigsaw puzzle.

    • DanTheHobbit

      Thank you for at least attempting to provide a secular argument against homosexuality.

      Males and females have complementing genitalia for the clear purpose of the propagation of the species, which is an essential aspect of any organism. I have no qualms with your reasoning there. But an individual can be productive and fruitful for humanity in other ways, and there are myriad means to aid society without necessarily producing offspring. Your choice of using “perversion” is fine, as homosexuality does deviate from the most beneficial type of person for humanity. But saying that any deviation is unacceptable and must be treated as such borders on deviousness. I’ll not reiterate the cases of couples who are unable to conceive or simply do not want to have children, but they would also fall into your spectrum of what’s unacceptable. Again, they can still be valuable to society, even without having children.

      Likening homosexual wiring to people who commit infanticide or animal abuse is grossly unfair as they do not have equal bearing. Making extreme claims serves to hinder your argument. The latter two have clear victims, and harm is evident. Homosexuality, in that regard, is benign. However, thank you using the term “wiring” instead of “choice.”

      It isn’t a two-piece puzzle. Saying that vastly over-simplifies the human race. “As a human, your sole role is to have heterosexual sex and make the next generation. Literally nothing else you do is important.” To that, I disagree, and I apologize if I am ironically oversimplifying your viewpoint. In any case, cheers for being civil.

  • Mrs. Schneider

    How about you Mr. Mad? Are you going to hell also? Idk Mister Mad, I think God is judging you right now. You think you’re so smart but you honestly sound so childish and ignorant. “you should get a clue ” Did you feel special when you wrote that? Grow up sweetie

  • Mad In Hazleton

    Dear WNEP,

    Please would you educate yourself and your reporters, also seems like many of the uninformed on here do not know THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FEDERAL BENEFIT AND A RIGHT. … sorry Marriage is not in the constitution or the bill of rights..marriage is not a right per say..
    Oh sure it’s more of a natural right as seen in the eyes of the church and the lord, but again it’s not a right afforded to you under our constitution……..if I’m wrong please one of you smart liberals show me where in the constitution it is…….

    Many moons ago the federal govt seen they could make money off 2 people marrying, hence forth a marriage licence so they the feds could collect money off you…then they the feds used the power of the IRS to say oh well we will give take breaks ie fed benefits to married people.

    Now the gay community could have had these exact benefits under a civil union which I do believe congress approved so the gay community could have those exact fed bennies, so then you have to ask one self then if the gay community could have these exact fed bennies under a civil union then what is their motif for jamming this bs down 98% of america’s throats???????.

    So I guess we are to assume that polygamist are to be able to marry 2 3 4 5 6 women at one time? why not? at least they are 1 man and several wives….

    So people what the Gay community achieved is not a right get that into your thick skulls….they achieved Federal benefits….. in the end in the eye’s of the lord they will all end up in hell……

    Thank you.

    • Mrs. Schneider

      I’m sorry but how are they going to end up in hell? Because they’re gay?? Aren’t we all God’s children? Why would he make them that way to send them to hell? I’m sure God is very disappointed about how some of us live our everyday life but that doesn’t mean we are animals or not worthy of being able to go to heaven when that day comes. Even these people who have more than one wife.. That’s how they choose to live their lives and it doesn’t affect mine one bit, do I agree with it? No, but I’m not going to make nasty comments or bring them down or tell them that they’re going to hell. Everyone has their own opinion but some people take it to the extreme

      • Mad In Hazleton

        Mrs. Schneider……nothing nasty about my comment..I didn’t write the bible, I’m only telling you in the eyes of god they ain’t going to heaven..get over it….My comment is about rights Vs benefits which many of you including you have NO clue…….To bad this isn’t wheel of fortune you could buy a clue.

    • E

      Mad in Hazleton you truly, truly belong in Hazleton. The decay of your beloved city, that was already a white slum, is exactly what you deserve. Anything that makes a person like you uncomfortable and more miserable I fully support.Lol. As you sit there suffering just realize that you deserve it. Go ahead clutch that bible a little tighter, it will fix everything. Ha ha ha ha.

      • Mad In Hazleton

        Hazleton is no different from Wilkes- Barre or Scranton…in fact what’s going on in Hazleton right now happened in those two cities first, and still continues. in fact we can thank those two cities for what’s happening to Hazleton right now…………..I can tell you are a liberal voted for loser liar obama twice….

      • E

        Mad in Hazleton your response is typical and amusing. I’m not from Scranton, wilkes barre or any area of nepa and very proud of that fact. But you clearly were born and raised there. lol. Your comment accusing me of being a liberal is way too funny, but again tyical of this region. Does it make you feel better pointing your fingers at perceived democrats and blaming them for your long series of stupid life decisions. Ha ha ha ha. And did I hear you blame S/WB for your misery! Ha ha ha! Classic nepa right there. That’s right blame everyone else for your environment decaying when you know it’s your fault.

      • Mad In Hazleton

        But you clearly were born and raised there…………………………………………………
        Little e, you must think your opinion matters to me it doesn’t, no I wasn’t born in Pa.. hahahahaha I’m a Ct yankee……came here after protecting your butt for year……try again.

      • E

        Mad in Hazleton you clearly cant read because I clearly stated that im not from the areas you blame for your misery. Also who cares if you’re from Connecticut, I didnt ask because where you’re from doesnt matter, but where you’re stuck for the rest of your life does. Hazleton. Don’t state irrelevant facts just so you have something to say. Also who cares if and how long you served? Protecting my butt ha! Pat yourself on the back a little harder buddy its all you’ve got. If my opinion doesnt matter then why do you keep responding? And I obviously don’t have to try, now do I. Lol.

    • E

      Mad in Hazleton, how wonderful for you to be living so free of sin that you are able to judge all others. I can’t even imagine being so perfect.

      • Original E

        “Right”: a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.
        In other words, gay couples now have the same LEGAL RIGHTS as any other couple. Again, irony, Mad. When the law prohibited gay marriage, you were all about the law. Now that the law differs from your opinion, laws don’t matter. The world is passing you by. Adapt and get on board or get used to being miserable.

    • nonny

      Where is it in the Constitution, Madman? 14th amendment Section 1. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS.” (added emphasis)

      Simply put, a gay couple is entitled to the same rights and privileges (tax breaks, insurance coverage, the right to speak for one’s partner as next-of-kin in a medical emergency) as straight couples. It’s been on the books since 1868, but we’re only just now recognizing that it applies to sexual orientation as well as skin color, ethnic and religious background, gender, and disabilities.

    • nonny

      Oh, and by the way, Mad, civil unions and domestic partnerships are only recognized at the state level, so no, they would not have had Federal benefits from a civil union.

  • E

    The irony of some of these complaints is that it is those very people that make this news-worthy. You are the ones in a panic that there is some gay agenda seeking to destroy your way of life. There is not. Gay couples simply want to have the same rights as everyone else. They’re not looking to make headlines. They just want to live their lives.
    Most of you can’t even articulate your objections beyond saying, ‘it’s wrong’. Perhaps in your mind, it is. Do you really believe that everyone on the planet should share all of your opinions? Is it a sin? Maybe it is; maybe not. Do you get yourself this worked up about other sins that people commit, or is this one somehow more serious? Why?
    Bottom line: You clearly do not value the opinions and beliefs of others. Why do you expect everyone else to value yours?

  • Kait

    They are together longer than “normal” couples, they should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of marriage. I would love to hear about the relationships of those who spew negativity, probably not as good as most gay couples. Grow up.

  • Harley Man 1971

    YES show a NORMAL couple man and woman get married, 16 always shoveing what the 1% of people do and want us to accept it. WELL WE DONT, yes i just threw up as well. I want to marry my goldfish is everyone ok with that. I also want the benifits if he dies early too. Ya well that is coming too. THIS IS WHY WE LEFT ENGLAND! PS if Ben Franklin or George Washington were here there would be a civil war to get the country back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • c

    ok we get it they are gay and they wanted to get married. stop cramming this disgusting thing down peoples throats. they don’t make it news worthy when a man and a woman get married. just because some stupid judge says it is ok doesn’t make it ok. god will judge them when they face god.

  • Brett

    Doesn’t matter who gets married. Love is love and I am happy that gay people finally got their right to marry. Congratulations to the new married guys!

  • Mrs. Schneider

    You know what’s really sick?? Ignorant people saying this is sick and that they just threw up in their mouth and blah blah blah! People don’t choose to be Gay, they’re born that way. To me this is beautiful, congrats to the happy couple and I really hope a lot more LGBT couples marry soon. Everyone deserves to be happy no matter what others think!

      • Mrs. Schneider

        And you’re pathetic and ignorant but don’t worry darling, I forgive you! And whether you like it or not IT IS a marriage so grow up

      • Mad In Hazleton

        Mrs. Schneider…
        No the only pathetic one is you, and I don’t need your and people like you are the reason why this once great country is going to pot….your liberalism/progressivism will be the death of this country.

      • Mrs. Schneider

        Wrong! ignorant,selfish and bullies like you are the ones who are going to be the death of this country. Because of people like you there are gay people who rather be dead than to be openly gay, because of youre selfish and pathetic comments and thinking that theyre happiness is going to affect this world.. I feel bad for you, you must be one unhappy and lonely person


    Ya I agree makes me have irritable bowl syndrome just thinking about it. Being Gay doesn’t make the world turn and therefore since natural reproduction can not occur. ITS SCIENTIFICALLY WRONG there is no debate here it doesn’t work! End of story you can’t argue the facts. I wish George Washington was here or Ben Franklin they would be sick TOO!

    • George T Coggins

      so your saying you promote further overpopulation and raping of resources? just curious as nature does have ways of addressing such issues and this is likely one. i am in no way speaking down on the LGTB community mind you

    • ryry

      So since gay men can’t have children, then infertile women shouldn’t be able to married then either, right? And your right, we can’t have children, but were not the ones who have a baby dump called Children and Youth. Instead of letting gay people adopt, you would rather have thousands of children sitting in a home til they are 21 than have two dads. I’m sure that’s much better for them mentally. Then when they grow up they go on shooting sprees and no one knows why…

    • ryry

      I love how you had to emphasize you were from ‘straightville’ meaning you are still secretly gay. And that’s why you have so much hate towards this subject. Any physiologist would tell you that. Don’t worry though, you’ll meet another closet gay one day. ;)

  • Steve Poconos

    Hear Ye hear Ye, I agree marriage is between a man & woman, whats next MAN & ANIMAL or MAN & TREE? Seriously people will want rights for fly’s pretty soon. Wake up STOP DRINKING THE KOOLAID. Just because there is 1% of people that choose to be wrong/not normal/ disgusting, does that mean we have to agree? What happen to democracy where we vote on things?? Because most 99% vote NO TO GAY MARRIAGE. Wow funny how you think that makes the world go…hmmmm wake upppppppp!

  • Shania

    I’m sorry i just puked, 2gay men doesn’t make the world work, I’m truly glad there beliefs won’t be passed on. The way things works are easily understood and will be passed down thru my children since I am a woman married to a man. Not a bible thumber by any means but being gay is not normal.

  • Lee is a the Roy

    Look to each his own, I do not pick on same sex couples, I am straight, I do not support or tolerate people who do pick on people for their preferences, but the fact is that the planet would be extinct in 100 to 120 years if we all become same sex couples. So does that make you at least acknowledge that it is not anatomically correct to be same sex for the human race to continue ???

    That is all I am saying

    • ryry

      You do understand that just because gay people can get married, don’t mean everyone needs to be gay right? Lol. The human population has been growing, and will continue to grow. Most people are having 2+ children. Gay people help the population, because if everyone was having children we would be like China, where you would have to kill your children when you have more than two.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Normal guys? I don’t know, but my marriage wasn’t about social security and insurance.

Comments are closed.