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Goreham Asked by Borough Not to Officiate Same-Sex Marriages

by on August 20, 2013 4:00 PM

Even though she hosted the first same-sex wedding in State College, State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham said today that she was told by the borough that if she were to officially marry the two men she would be violating her oath of office.

Joseph Davis and Gregory Scalzo were married in Goreham's home on Monday morning. The marriage is the first known same-sex marriage in State College, Goreham said earlier.

Goreham said that she thought the borough would defend her if she tried to marry the two, but was instead told she would be violating her oath of office if she did.

"Integrity is very important," Goreham said. " There are people who don’t agree with the law, but they should uphold it ... we should respect laws."

Goreham said the wedding was not a personal event and that, even though she is mayor and can never truly be a "private citizen," the event simply showed her personal views on the matter of marriage equality.

The Register of Wills in Montgomery County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple a few weeks ago despite the fact that same-sex marriage is not legal in Pennsylvania. Davis and Scalzo drover to Montgomery County from their home in Bushkill, Pa. to receive a marriage license and contacted Goreham after about the service.

The entire state is not opposed to same-sex marriage though, as Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has said she would not defend the state's ban on gay marriage. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett supports the ban.



Adam Lidgett is a freelance reporter who has covered news and feature stories in State College and Centre County.
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