BY NOREEN FAGAN – After being in a relationship for 23 years, New Yorkers
the 823 couples that applied in advance for the chance to wed in New York City
at the city clerk’s offices on Sunday, the day the bill legalizing same-sex
marriage came into effect.
Mayor Bloomberg introduced the lottery after the city
realized that demand for weddings could be more than the city clerk’s offices
could handle. Officials said that the 659 marriage licences were issued on
Sunday in all five boroughs.
While couples started lining up in New York City at 8am,
others celebrated midnight ceremonies.
The Buffalo News
reported that at the stroke of midnight, Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd stood
against the background of the rainbow-lit Niagara Falls to say “I do.”
The two women have claimed the honour of being the first
same-sex couple to marry in the state.
Tens of thousands of couples are expected to wed in New York
State. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, which studies
gender-based law and social policy, the state has more than 65,000 same-sex couples.
Although same-sex marriages dominated the whimsical media
chatter over the weekend — even The New York Times’ Sunday edition devoted the
Styles section to same-sex marriage — the weekend kicked off on a more serious
On Friday, President Obama signed a document declaring that
lifting the ban on openly gay troops will not harm the military.
Pink News reported the
president’s words: “Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the
discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law that undermines our military readiness
and violates American principles of fairness and equality.”
On Sept 20, gay and lesbian service members will no longer
be forced to hide who they are.