Desiree Warnken and Michele Nardozzi say a piece of paper won't change their relationship.

But when the Newberry Township couple got the opportunity to get a marriage license for the first time, they took it.

After about 10 minutes and $50, the two left the York County courthouse with the document that, according to Pennsylvania law, will be official in three days.

Come Saturday, they'll be able to marry in their home state.

"I think we just never thought it was gonna happen," said Warnken, 31.

Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage was overturned Tuesday by a federal judge. Although the state has 30 days from that date to appeal the decision, Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday he will not appeal.

A total of six same-sex couples had obtained licenses in York County by the end of business Wednesday, according to the Register of Wills office.

'No different': July will mark the fifth anniversary of the commitment ceremony where Warnken and Nardozzi, 28, exchanged rings. They said an official marriage would only make their relationship recognized by everybody else.

"This is, for us, just making it official for everyone," Warnken said.

The two said they're excited for Pennsylvania to make progress — even though it is the last of the northeastern states to lift the ban on gay marriage.

For them, their relationship is the same as any other couple's.


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"We are each other's support system — it's no different than a husband and wife," Warnken said. "We've lived together for seven years. We are each other's families."

The first: On Wednesday morning, York City Councilman David Satterlee and Will Guntrum were the very first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in York County.

Although he was a bit nervous, Satterlee said the process went smoothly and staffers at the Register of Wills office were helpful.

"Everybody seemed really excited we were there and really happy to help us," he said.

Satterlee, 48, and Guntrum, 44, have been together for almost 13 years, and Satterlee said obtaining a license "feels like the logical next step." The two have lived together in York City for 11 years and are already entwined financially, he said, but now they will secure the rights associated with marriage.

Satterlee said the two plan to have a small wedding with friends and family and that the community has been nothing but positive.

"Every single comment has been excitement and support and love — and that's been amazing," Satterlee said.

Anniversary gift: Deidre Ludwick, 51, and Joyce Werner, 61, celebrated their holy union ceremony on May 28, 1994. Just one week before their 20th anniversary, the North Codorus Township residents obtained a marriage license in their home county.

It's a great anniversary present, but Ludwick said this time around, the wedding will be small and simple.

"We already had the wedding we wanted," she said. "This will just sort of seal the envelope."

Together for almost 23 years, the two said finally getting a marriage license "feels great."

"I'm glad to have her," Ludwick said. "Best wife in the world."

"We complete each other," Werner added.

— Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.