First gay couple weds in New York
The first same-sex couple to get married in New York kisses before the official who performed the ceremony.
July 24th, 2011
09:13 AM ET

First gay couple weds in New York

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, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85, were married in a chapel at the city clerk's office as a crowd of onlookers cheered.

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 when the state's Marriage Equality Act took effect.

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. If all 764 weddings actually take place on Sunday, it will set a one-day record for the city.

Marcos Chaljub and Freddy Zambrano were married after Siegal and Kopelov. The two tearfully said their vows as friends hovered and snapped pictures. "You're married!" one declared as celebratory hugs were exchanged afterward. Chaljub and Zambrano conducted last-minute preparations Saturday for their wedding, picking up bouquets of wildflowers for their bridesmaids and champagne for a family brunch afterward. The couple has been together for five years.

"I have certain people in my life, they're not totally OK with it, but they accept it, and just the fact they respect us because of that, it's really the most that I can ask for," Chaljub told CNN's Susan Candiotti.

The two have been wearing rings for five years, and said they don't plan to exchange new ones. "We're just going to polish them up and exchange them again," Chaljub said.

New York legalized same-sex marriage in June. The Marriage Equality Act was a priority for Gov. Andrew Cuomo after winning election in November. The law was passed under a Republican-led Senate after days of delays and negotiations between the two parties. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, herself openly gay, told CNN New York is the place where the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) movement was born, and a place the world looks to.

"All eyes are upon it, and I believe it is going to help propel this movement forward faster than any of the other states have," Quinn said.

Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire also allow same-sex marriage, as does the District of Columbia.

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soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Charlie:
    Thank you for being able to think.

    July 25, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Out of "love," do NOT teach me how you think I should live.
    Nobody appointed you as the world's Life Instructor.
    I you think that God appointed you, you're wrong, because there is no God.

    July 25, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    There are no angels to molest, Mmmmm.
    You have nothing of real beauty in your earthly life, the only one you will ever have, so you escape into a delusion of magic, occupied by deities, angels, and demons.

    July 25, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. D Fence

    You're stupid antique book was written by many (flawed) men. If Jesus was "perfect" then his word should be the only one that matters, but all you idiots quote these other guys like they aren't the flawed men you claim men are. That religion and others like it were designed to divide and control. Looks like they're doing a good job. Please don't leave your house without your helmets.

    July 25, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Virtually every single animal on earth has no concept of everlasting life. I say 'virtually' because their are still a few animals who live their lives with everlasting life in view...not stuck in the day-to-day struggle to survive or to become wealthy. A dog is happy with food, water, several mates, and the occassional 'atta boy', wagging his tail in front of everyone as if he is truly happy. Are you a man or a dog...are you woman or a dog's mate? Are you satisfied, or do you want even more food and mates? Are you storing up for yourselves as a squirrel, an ant that stores just for the winter, or are you a man with everlasting life in your heart...storing-up treasures that cannot be stolen, that cannot be consumed by rust and mold. You are not just another animal, so why behave like one?

    July 25, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Philip

      Yesssss.. Precious....

      July 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Oh, I believe in Constantine.
    And in Maxwell Perkins.

    July 25, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Why does it bother some guys so much?

    July 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    My gay friend who is getting married texted me, "I am terrified!"
    I texted him back, "I would be more than you are."

    July 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ramtough

    Joey I'm not trying to teach "you" anything, I see that you have your mind up that you think there is no God, we may disagree on that I still love you and don't even know you. I don't have to, I love everybody. God is love, He makes me feel love towards others even when they don't love me back. That's the beautiful thing about God. You have never "seen" the wind in your entire life, but you believe its there. Well that's how I am with God, I never saw him in my entire life but I feel him all the time.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. patrickduevletian

    Aww ma gosh ! Its abt time after 80 years !! They look so happy together :')

    October 28, 2012 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
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