“New Yooooooork! Concrete jungle where gays can maaaarry!”
Big, big congratulations to the hundreds of gay and lesbian Americans who are spending today getting married in New York!
New York (CNN) — A city official married the first couple in New York City to wed under the state’s new law allowing same-sex marriage Sunday.
Phyllis Siegal, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84, were married in a chapel at the city clerk’s office as a crowd of onlookers cheered.
The two, of New York, have been together for 23 years. Kopelov left the clerk’s office in a wheelchair, but used a walker to approach reporters.
Hundreds of same-sex couples heard the news Friday that they made the cut in the marriage lottery that New York state instituted for Sunday, the day that the state’s Marriage Equality Act took effect.
“These are two independent people who are joining together because they can see and they can feel how much better their lives will be,” city clerk Michael McSweeney said as he married Siegal and Kopelov. “We are grateful that they are allowing us to share this truly momentous ceremony with them.”
The New York City clerk’s office has been flooded with more than 2,600 requests for marriage licenses since the wording on the online application was changed from “Groom and Bride” to “Spouse A and Spouse B.”
The office could handle less than a third of those requests — gay or straight — on Sunday, according to a press statement the city released earlier in the week. The lottery was set up to allocate 764 slots for couples who want to obtain marriage licenses and/or be married at city clerk’s offices on Sunday.
Couples began lining up outside the clerk’s office before the ceremonies began Sunday. Some women wore wedding gowns, while some men wore suits or tuxedos.
If all 764 weddings actually take place on Sunday, it will set a one-day record for the city.