Philadelphia, May 24, 2014– Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Honorable Sheila Woods-Skipper, President Judge for the Court of Common Pleas, announced that the City of Philadelphia and the First Judicial District partnered to offer marriage ceremonies to same-sex couples that recently applied for marriage licenses in Philadelphia, following Federal District Judge John E. Jones’ decision that the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.
“Tuesday was a truly historic day in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and another victory in the long fight for equality and freedom for every American,” said Mayor Nutter. “I am proud to announce that Judges from the Court of Common Pleas performed marriage ceremonies on Friday and Saturday for same-sex couples who legally obtained marriage licenses from the City’s Register of Wills this week. I was honored to join the judges today to officiate a few unions myself, and hopefully, I will perform many more ceremonies in the future. Uniting two people in marriage is one of my favorite official duties to perform as Mayor of our great city.”
As of Wednesday, May 21st, 85 licenses had been issued to same-sex couples in Philadelphia. Couples who applied for licenses which would be valid by Friday or Saturday (after the 3-day waiting period) were personally called and invited to City Hall to have a Judge perform their marriage ceremony. Eight (8) couples were wed on Friday, and seventeen (17) couples were wed on Saturday.
Judges who have volunteered to perform marriage ceremonies on Friday included: President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper, Judge Daniel J. Anders, Judge Diana Louise Anhalt, Judge Mark I. Bernstein, Judge Ann Butchart, Judge Barbara A. McDermott, and Judge Lisa M. Rau.
Judges who have volunteered to perform marriage ceremonies on Saturday included: President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper, Judge Daniel J. Anders, Judge Diana Louise Anhalt, Judge Ann Butchart, and Judge Joseph D. O’Keefe. Mayor Nutter also performed marriage ceremonies today.