Federal judge rules Pennsylvania's 18 year ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional
POSTED: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 9:44am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — This morning people in Pennsylvania are scrambling to get marriage licenses after a federal judge overturned the state's ban on same sex marriage.
That makes Pennsylvania the 19th state where gay couples can wed.
But many in Pennsylvania are waiting to see if Pennsylvania's Republican governor - who opposes same sex marriage - will appeal.
There were rallies around the state after a federal judge ruled Pennsylvania's 18-year-old ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. "Injustice has been done for a long time and it stops today!" declared Marla Cattermole, Plaintiff in the suit.
Philadelphia's mayor called it an "historic day." county offices there stayed open late last night to handle applications.
The state's attorney general voiced her support. "I think that where there is inequality in one group of people or one class of people, then there's inequality amongst all of us," said PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Eleven couples sued, plus a widow, one couple's teenage daughters and the ACLU.
Governor Tom Corbett hasn't said yet if he'll appeal.
There's been a flurry of activity just this week. On Monday, a judge struck down Oregon's same-sex marriage ban.
The same day, a federal judge ordered Utah to recognize a thousand couples who married before the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in there.
Yesterday, a federal court put marriages in Idaho on hold pending an appeal.
Nearly half the nation's residents - 44 percent - now live in a state where same sex couples can marry.
Half the states now allow same sex marriage but due to legal challenges, as of today there are only 19 where couples can actually do it.