PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With family and friends looking on, 19 same-sex couples were united in matrimony during a ceremony in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers.

“We are gathered here this morning to celebrate the joining of these couples in marriage,” said Mayor Bill Peduto, who presided over the weddings.

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Each couple repeated their vows and exchanged wedding rings, making their marital bliss official.

The couples posed for pictures on the steps of the City County Building, then celebrated by hoisting the rainbow flag.

“It feels great, you know,” said Sameer Samudra. “It’s not just about same-sex marriage, it’s about marriage.”

The celebration continued with all 19 couples leading the annual gay pride parade through downtown.

“I never though Pittsburgh would, we never thought Pennsylvania, we never thought the country, I didn’t dream of marriage,” said newlyweds, Cindy Neitz and Christine Allen-Neitz. “I didn’t think it was possible in my lifetime.”

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The colorful parade featured 130 groups and organizations. It ran from Grant Street and the Boulevard of the Allies, to Fifth Avenue, where hundreds of spectators offered cheers and support.

“It symbolizes what we’ve been working for for years,” said Shawna McCutcheon. “We’re acknowledged.”

“It’s a major milestone,” added Barbara Jean Nagrant, “it really is important that everyone can get married and have all the legal rights they deserve.”

Many are feeling it’s a new day of self-expression for the Pittsburgh gay community.

“Freedom,” said Mark Delafield. “Freedom and liberty, you don’t have to hide and run anymore.”

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