By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eighteen same-sex couples got their marriage licenses inside Philadelphia’s City Hall on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania is now the 19th state to legalize same sex marriage. A federal court ruled today that the Commonwealth’s ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional (See Related Story).
Office hours were extended to 530 p.m. at City Hall to accommodate the applicants. After paying $80 in cash, 18 same-sex couples got their licenses with a waiting period of three days to get married.
Among same-sex couples getting their license were 28-year-old Steve Seminelli and his partner 30-year-old Joe Parisi of Old City.
“Just be like everybody else you know have the life and commitment that we wanted to have and not be different in any way,” Seminelli said.
“The protection that comes along with it. Financially, health wise, legally. I mean it just something you don’t want to have to think about when it comes up when it dos that protection is a big deal,” Parisi said.
City workers Carolyn Caton and Noelle Foizen have been together for more than 10 years and were just waiting for the day.
“We were following twitter and we saw that the ruling was going to come in and we were talking about getting married for a while. We were just going to go to New Jersey or New York but we were really hoping to get married in Pennsylvania, our home state.”
Outside City Hall, hundreds gathered for a rally to celebrate the victory, many cheering when the gay pride rainbow flag was raised on the pole.
The City of Philadelphia tweeted the Register of Wills is open Wednesday with extended hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.