It's been a week since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, but Tim Hare and Earl Ball aren't celebrating.
Instead, this Easton couple is angry, and looking to continue the fight for same sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
The two West Ward residents have been together since 1976, and got married in Canada in 2003. But to them, the court's decision on DOMA last week didn't go far enough, because it didn't allow for same sex marriage in all 50 states.
In the eyes of Pennsylvania law, they can't marry. That means the DOMA ruling—which gives legally married same sex couples the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples—doesn't apply to them.
And that left Ball and Hare, both 66, with a choice: leave a city they love for a state that allows same sex marriage, or stay and fight.
"They placed a burden on us," Ball said Wednesday, sitting in the couple's West Ward living room. "Either we move, or we stay and fight and live long enough to see it change."
For now, they appear to have chose the second option. Hare said that while the DOMA ruling wasn't a victory—he likened it to the Dred Scott Decision— it does give them a key to fight Pennsylvania's same sex marriage ban in a lower court.
He and Ball are looking for plaintiffs for a possible lawsuit to overturn a 1996 Pennsylvania law that bans same sex marriage in the state.
The fight is happening on other fronts as well. Last week, state Reps. Brian Sims and Steve McCarter introduced a marriage equality bill in the state house.
And Hare says he's heard from people in other states—both heterosexual and otherwise—who are backing him.
It's been a tough week for the couple, as they went back and forth on the question of fighting or moving, possibly to New York.
"We haven't been this divided...ever," Hare said.
They have deep roots in Easton. Ball helped craft with the city's anti-discrimination ordinance in 2006. Hare fought to save landmark city buildings like the Quadrant from the demolition in the 1970s.
Hare said he fell for the city on a stop-over on the way to Harrisburg and counted seven interracial couples between the toll bridge and the bus station.
"I thought 'This must be some kind of live-and-let-live Mecca,'" he said.
And for the most part, it has been. Most of the flack they've gotten about their possible lawsuit has come from "within our tribe," Hare said. Questions like "Why not just wait and let this play itself out?"
"Well, because I've been waiting 66 years," Hare said.