July 25th 2011

New milestone for same-sex rights: marriage in New York

Sunday was the official first day that same-sex couples across New York State could legally marry.

Hundreds of couples came together on the milestone of a day after a long battle in the Legislature and step forward to legalizing gay marriage.

Crowds gathered in high temperatures in the early hours to legalize their vows.

The first female couple in New York City were Phyllis Siegel, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84, who have been together in Manhattan for 23 years. Following them were the first male couple, Marcos A. Chaljub, 29, and Freddy L. Zambrano, 30, both from Queens.

Assuming the day would be a popular one for marriage, the city of New York established a lottery, in case the high demand would exceed the time and supply.

To work with this, the city specified they would allow a certain number of couples in each borough. The highest demand was in Manhattan; 533 couples applied for 400 slots. In the Bronx, 52 couples applied for 98 open spaces ; Brooklyn had 109 couples for 112 slots; Queens housed 91 couples for 112 slots; and Staten Island took in 38 couples for 42 slots.

Most of the participants were same-sex couples, though a few were said to be opposite-sex couples.

However, it wasn’t all kisses and love: some places included groups of protesters denouncing the new law.

Outside of New York City, over fifteen other cities and towns opened their offices to issue licenses; over 100 judges across the state volunteered to officiate.

Many ceremonies began just after midnight.

Post a Comment

Andrew's Biography

Email this Author with comments or questions.

Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.