Paxinos men first in county to get same-sex license, will marry Monday
NORTHUMBERLAND - After 27 years together, David Fisher will finally tie the knot with his longtime love.
Fisher and Robert Kurrell were the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in Northumberland County. They plan to say their vows in a ceremony on the waterfront at the Shikellamy Marina Monday.
"It's going to be beautiful," said Kurrell.
The license was issued the morning after U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III legalized same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania by ruling the Commonwealth's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
Kurrell said a fear that Jones' ruling will be overturned caused them to take action immediately.
"We wanted to get the certificate as soon as possible," said Kurrell. "If we don't get married in time and they take it away, (we're) back on square one."
Kurrell and Fisher had been watching while Whitewood v. Wolf moved through the court system and were active in the fight for marriage equality.
"We live in the United States of America. Everybody should be free to do what they want to do and be with who they want to be with," said Kurrell.
Fisher agreed with his husband to-be.
"Hopefully this will be the tipping point and things will change," said Fisher.
The couple moved to Paxinos more than a decade ago after living in Selinsgrove for several years. They said they experienced acts of hatred from neighbors, including vandalism, when they moved, but over the years the bigotry had petered out, and they now live a quiet life with their 14 dogs.
Kurrell said he was concerned about harassment on their trip to the courthouse, but everyone was kind and helpful.
Monday's ceremony will be intimate, said Kurrell, with just a few family members and close friends. Because the couple has been together so long, they are less excited about the ceremony than they are to have the rights the certificate represents.
"We're just happy we can get the license and change history," said Kurrell. "We opened the doors for everybody to have the ability to get married when they want to with who they want to."