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Mayor Elizabeth Goreham Oversees First Known Gay Marriage in State College History

by on August 19, 2013 12:00 PM

Having started dating the day that they met, and having waited ten years to make it official, Joseph Davis and Gregory Scalzo were married in the home of State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham on Monday morning.

The marriage is the first known same-sex marriage in State College according to Goreham. It is also the latest in a growing line of same sex couples who have received marriage licenses from The Register of Wills in Montgomery County who began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple a few weeks ago.

Despite the fact that same-sex marriage is not legal in the state of Pennsylvanian, Goreham responded to the actions of Montgomery County in only nine words. 

“If you have a license, I will marry you,” she said.

For both Scalzo (age 47) and Davis (age 50) the opportunity to fulfill their dream together was too much to pass up. Driving to Montgomery County from their home in Bushkill, PA they received a marriage license and contacted Goreham about taking her up on her promise.

"I was on Facebook," Davis said. "And I read about Montgomery County was giving out the marriage licenses and then I read further about how a mayor in State College would marry any couple who had obtained a marriage license from Montgomery County."

"So I emailed her and said 'Is this true?' and she said 'yes' so we set it up right then."

Even though the state does not recognize same-sex marriages legally, Goreham doesn't believe that the state can reverse the process easily once the marriage is registered. Davis and Scalzo will travel back to Montgomery County on Monday afternoon to register the marriage. The immediacy revolves around the fear that Governor Tom Corbett will shut down the register in Montgomery County to prevent more technically illegal marriage licenses from being granted to same-sex couples.

The entire state is not opposed to same-sex marriage though. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in early July she would not defend the state's ban on gay marriage. Corbett supports the ban.

As for Scalzo and Davis, their day is a fulfillment of a personal dream and another small step forward towards changing the legislation surrounding same-sex marriages in the state of PA.

"It will change," Scalzo said. "It's only a matter of time."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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