By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — KYW Newsradio is taking a look back at the top stories of 2014. This year, marriage equality became the law of the land in Pennsylvania.
The year began with nearly a half dozen lawsuits pending in Pennsylvania and many believed it was literally a race to marriage equality.
Then the day came, May 20th, 2014.
“Yayyy. It’s just such an exciting moment.”
In a 39 page opinion, District Court Judge John Jones, a lifelong Republican, struck down Pennsylvania’s defense of marriage act on both equal protection and due process grounds.
Lead Plaintiff attorney, Mark Aronchek, said, “He has set forth a standard in the law that not only will apply to marriages but will also apply to public accommodation and employment.”
And within hours of the ruling, same sex couples rushed to Philadelphia city hall to get marriage licenses, and three days later, “Pronounce you husband and husband you may seal your vows with kiss.”
Oscar Cabrera and Chris DiCapua spent 19 years together and they were the first same sex couple to be legally married in Pennsylvania.
Oscar says, “Yes, it’s very, very, very emotional for me and I think for Chris to feel like we are equals like everybody else.”
But in September a group attacked a gay couple in Center City, sparking debate over whether hate crime legislation should protect the LGBT community.
“We have an uphill battle in this legislative climate to pass LGBT hate crimes laws.”
And demonstrating there’s much more work to do.
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