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This year’s controversial Pittsburgh PrideFest wrapped up with the historic and emotional moment of mayor Bill Peduto officiating the state’s first same-sex marriages.
The weddings became possible after a federal judge on May 20 ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. After the court decision, Peduto said, “I would be thrilled to make the marriage of an LGBT couple the first I officiate as Mayor, and being able to share that moment with many others should make for an even more joyous celebration.”
One of the 19 couples, Nancy Janda and Larisa Van Winkle, waited 32 years for the day that they could exchange vows. Janda, reminisces on finding love, “We met in 1981 in college and we fell in love. Honestly, I went to college looking for the right guy, and I found her. It was the surprise of my life.” Janda and Van Winkle were glad they waited for Pennsylvania to legalize their union, saying that it would have been heartbreaking to get married in another state and come home to not have it recognized.
Mayor Peduto stated proudly, “Pittsburgh put its heart out today. To the 19 couples who today start on their journey in a city and state who can say we’ve been given that equal right, congratulations.” All 19 couples led the annual pride parade through downtown Pittsburgh.