Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Presides Over 19 Same-Sex Weddings In Epic Weekend Marriage Ceremony

Peduto_Bill-1It was a busy weekend for Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto (pictured), the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports.

Last month, Peduto announced he was “thrilled to make the marriage of a LGBT couple” the first one he performs as mayor. He said he planned on doing so at the Pittsburgh PrideFest on June 15, and that he was looking forward to “being able to share that moment with many others should make for an even more joyous celebration.”

Last weekend he made good on his promise. Mayor Peduto presided over the marriage ceremonies for not one, not two, not ten, but nineteen same-sex couples. One of the couples had been waiting over 30 years to get married.

Standing before a large crowd of people and dressed in a black robe, Peduto noted the historic significance of the day, made possible just last month after a federal judge declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette 20140615 Pride Local 06/15/2014 Nineteen same-sex couples, including at far right Amit Gokhale, 36, and his fiance, to his left, Sameer Samudra, 39, take their seats as Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto officiates a group same-sex wedding ceremony in celebration of Pennsylvania's newfound marriage equality inside the City Council chambers in the City-County Building on Sunday, June 15, 2014.  Samudra and Gokhale live in Columbus, Indiana, and have been together for 10 years.
Nineteen same-sex couples take their seats as Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto officiates a group same-sex wedding ceremony. Photo credit: Michael Henniger/Post-Gazette

“We weren’t able to do what we’re about to do — it wasn’t possible,” in the city’s 198-year history, Peduto said. “We’re entering into a new phase — a new Pittsburgh.”

Of course, a public display of gayness this size wouldn’t be complete without naysayers. A small handful of protesters trolled around outside the building, but they were vastly outnumbered by the thousands of supporters.

After the ceremony, mayor Peduto and the 38 newlyweds marched together in the Pride Parade and to the Fairmont Pittsburgh hotel, where a cocktail reception was waiting for the couples and their guests. The reception included a wedding cake for each of the 19 couples. (That’s a ton of gay wedding cakes!)

“It was hard to separate the historic moment from the emotional moment for these couples,” Peduto said afterwards. “There was a lot of love in that room.”