Some of the first couples to obtain their marriage licenses after Pennsylvania’s ban on same sex marriage was struck down by a federal judge on Tuesday were wed Friday at Philadelphia City Hall.
The ruling in the case brought by the ACLU, Whitewood v. Wolf, came without much warning this week. The couples able to marry Friday, after the three-day waiting period, had run out to apply for their licenses in the hours immediately after the ruling.
As soon as he read the news of the decision Tuesday afternoon, Eddie Chang called Derek Finn at work.
“Get your Social Security number,” he said. “Get your Social Security card.”
“I was like, why?” Finn admitted. Once Chang explained, the two rushed to meet at City Hall to apply for a marriage license.
Moments after reciting their vows Friday, Finn said, “The whole thing is just so unreal. Part of me doesn’t even believe that it’s happening.
“That it’s happened,” he corrected himself.
Another couple who wed in the mayor’s reception room on Friday, Leon Carpenter and Daniel Panichelli of Kensington, met working at Terror Behind the Walls, the annual haunted house at the former Eastern State Penitentiary.
“He was a stilt-walker. I was a zombie in the night watch,” said Panichelli.
During the years of prologue to the sudden decision Tuesday, Carpenter and Panichelli traveled to Harrisburg to lobby legislators on the issue of same-sex marriage.
They, like Chang and Finn, said that part of the reason they went to apply right away was because they were concerned the marriages might be stopped, on hold for the duration of the appeals process as has happened in other states.
In this case, Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday that he would not appeal.
“It was almost even more exciting,” said Carpenter. “It was like, ‘pinch me.'”