More than 100 gay couples have become the first to legally wed in New York on Sunday. The first couple; Kitty Lambert, 54, and Cheryle Rudd, 53, were married just after midnight in Niagara Falls.
The New York Times reports:
From the five boroughs of New York City to Niagara Falls, N.Y., hundreds of gay and lesbian couples across the state began marrying on Sunday ? the first taking their vows just after midnight ? in the culmination of a long battle in the Legislature and a new milestone for gay rights advocates seeking to legalize same-sex marriage across the nation.
Outside the city clerk?s office in Lower Manhattan, an orderly crowd had gathered alongside metal police barriers hours before the doors opened around 8:45 a.m., prompting a cheer. At least one veil was in evidence.
Phyllis Siegel, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84, who have been together for 23 years, were the first couple in, receiving a waiver from the rule requiring 24 hours between a license and a ceremony. They were ushered right into the chapel. Ms. Kopelov used a walker as they were married by the city clerk, Michael McSweeney.
The Associated Press adds:
Clerks in New York City and about a dozen other cities statewide opened their doors Sunday to cater to same-sex couples. In New York City and other locations, judges waived a mandatory 24-hour waiting period that allowed couples to exchange vows moments after receiving their licenses.
In Farmingville on Long Island, Steven Hammer, 46, and Joe Lobosco, 63, were among the steady flow of people showing up for a license. The residents of Ridge, N.Y., were married in Canada eight years ago, but opted for another ceremony in their home state.
“After 21 years together, we’re not going to get cold feet,” Hammer said. “It justifies everything we’ve been living for 21 years.”
Initially, New York City officials had projected that about 2,500 couples might show up at the city clerk’s offices hoping to get married on Sunday, but by the time a 48-hour lottery had drawn to a close on Thursday, 823 couples had signed up ? 59 more than the city had planned to accommodate. The city will perform ceremonies for all 823.
First up in Manhattan were Phyllis Siegel, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84. In Niagara Falls, gay-rights activists Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd were legally married the very first moment they could be during a midnight ceremony.
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Watch the TV report about Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd in Niagara Falls.
Here’s a video of the wedding
Watch a video Gaitley and Jim Stevenson-Mathews, the 1st Gay couple to Wed on Long Island