The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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May 29, 2014

Sunbury women among 1st to wed

SUNBURY — With a huge smile on her face, Melissa LaBounty Lytle turned to her new spouse.

“What do you want to do, wife?” she asked Melissa “Missy” Lytle.

“I don’t know, wife,” Missy said, laughing.

The same-name Sunbury residents, who refer to themselves as “M&M,” were married Thursday at the Northumberland County Administrative Building. Melissa and Missy are among the first same-sex couples to tie the knot in Northumberland County after a federal judge struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage.

Together for 2½ years, they knew as soon as the decision came down May 20 they wanted to make it official. Following the federal judge’s ruling, Gov. Tom Corbett announced last week that he would not appeal the decision.

“We were just recently talking about paying the $150 to have my last name changed to Lytle,” Melissa said. “We’ve been planning this for a while.”

Melissa and Missy applied for a marriage license May 21 and began planning Thursday’s small ceremony, officiated by District Judge Ben Apfelbaum and attended by close friends and relatives.

Melissa became teary-eyed as she prepared to walk down the aisle and the women exchanged their own vows, in which they declared their love for one another.

“Because of you, I can laugh, I can smile,” Melissa said. “It’s OK for me to dream.”

The newlyweds could hardly contain their happiness after the ceremony.

“It’s great,” Missy said. “It’s amazing.”

Melissa agreed.

“I can’t believe we’re married now,” she said. “I can’t contain my excitement.”

Apfelbaum said this was the first female same-sex ceremony he has performed.

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