LIMERICK, Pa. — Loreen Bloodgood, a consultant from the Philadelphia suburb of Limerick, Pa., doesn't understand why anyone cares who she marries.
On July 24, Bloodgood married Alicia Terrizzi, the person with whom she has shared a 17-year relationship, making history as the first same-sex couple to marry in Pennsylvania, where such marriages are illegal.
Bloodgood said the two were “a bit naive' to believe they would not become the instant focus of a national debate whose pace has quickened since the U.S. Supreme Court declared the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional last month.
It began when D. Bruce Hanes, Montgomery County's Register of Wills, received a marriage license request from a different same-sex couple and, after consulting with county lawyers, decided he would issue it.
The couple who made the initial request decided to hold off, but once word got out, Bloodgood and Terrizzi were among those absolutely ready to move forward.
“We've waited for a long time and when we saw on Facebook late Tuesday that we could get a license at the courthouse, we decided it was time to act,' Bloodgood said during an interview with the Pottstown Mercury on Friday.
“We didn't think we would be the first, but when we got there, there was hardly anyone else there. We were told to wait in the lobby, but then we saw another couple go into the Register of Wills office, so we went in too,' she recalled.
Terrizzi and Bloodgood were not the first to get a marriage license from Hanes, but they were the first to act on it.
“When we got ours, they told us we had 60 days to use the license, but they also told us in they did not know what would happen, whether the governor would act,' Bloodgood said.
They contacted Craig Andrussier, a non-denominational minister from Lansdale and they met him in a local park where the ceremony was performed.
Andrussier immediately filed the certificate with the county to make their marriage official.
The couple met through mutual friends.
An organizational development consultant for GlaxoSmithKline, Bloodgood, is from rocker Bon Jovi's hometown of Sayreville, N.J., and attended Ursinus College.
Terrizzi is from the Bloomsburg area and is a seventh grade math teacher at Boyertown Junior High School West.
They have two children, boys aged 8 and 11, to whom Terrizzi gave birth.
“We decided we wanted to raise children together and Alicia is their biological mother. We made use of the technology available to us' to conceive the boys, Bloodgood explained.
“It's interesting with the kids, because they don't see us as being any different than any of the other families and they don't really understand why we had to go through all this,' she said.
“That's the beautiful thing about children, they don't have those filters, that bias,' said Bloodgood.
While she insists she respects people's right to have an opinion on the issue, “even if it's wrong,' and to speak publicly about it, Bloodgood said she doesn't quite understand the opposition.
“Please explain to me how anybody else's life has changed in the past two days since I got married,' she said.'And if you're unaffected by my actions, why do you care?'
“We're just like the people next door, we look like the people next door. We're really just like everyone else,' Bloodgood said. “When we wed, did the world stop turning? Really the whole thing is mind-boggling.'
But Bloodgood recognizes she and Terrizzi have played an important role in the evolution of an ongoing social issue in America, an issue which, she said, she thinks is beginning to tip in favor of same-sex marriage.
“It's different than it was 20 years ago,' she said. “I don't see nearly as much opposition as there used to be.'
Nevertheless, to move Pennsylvania forward, someone had to take the next step.
“We didn't want to be spokespeople for this, but we're happy to be the ones who take a step we need to take on this journey,' Bloodgood said. “Like it or not, the situation is what it is, and we had to deal with it if we wanted to exercise our civil rights, and that's what this really is about, civil rights. People shouldn't be voting on civil rights.'
So far, Bloodgood said Friday, neither woman has experienced any negativity as a result of their sudden fame.
“The outpouring of support has been absolutely phenomenal,' she said. State “Representative (Mark) Painter sent us flowers, which was very thoughtful.'
She also had kind words for Hanes.
“I really can't say enough about Bruce Hanes, and the other county officials, who are putting a lot on the line to make a statement,' said Bloodgood.
“What a blessing he is to us,' she said. “Ultimately, I know, what he did will be seen as the right thing.'
Follow Evan Brandt on Twitter @PottstownNews