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.

tx lottery

soundoff (251 Responses)

    just another way to rip off the insurance and goverment...

    July 24, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Stevie

      Really? So it's not a rip-off if a straight person gets married and for me as a gay man to subidize that? Only straight people pay taxes? You are truely clueless.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • peg

      how inciteful. clearly this 77 and 85 year old were just WAITING for the dhance to rip off insurance and government. KUDOS to you mr. nut

      July 24, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |

      these chicks are getting married are 77 and 85... what's the purpose other than to get better social security bennefits...
      all i see is a scam... next people will want to marry animals or objects like cars n trucks...

      July 24, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • RichardButt


      July 24, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Foodforfunk

      You just might be an actual dumb-ass .

      July 24, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • WEBSPY

      Gees what a good person concerned not for another humans feelings ,,, just insurance profit,,, enough said!!!

      July 24, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • shorty

      Hey Nutt,
      Because people like you don't think people deserve insurance from our partners, my daughter and I are on welfare for insurance, because my partner of twelve years is not able to provide us with insurance as I work part time and take care of our three year old daughter. My partner makes good money, but because of closed minded wingers like you I am deemed a single mother in our country. And yes we pay taxes just like you. Probably more because we can't get married. Talk about a scam!

      July 24, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • peg

      you CAN see through the hoopla!
      1st they get together 25 years ago and begin their plot to rip off the state government of NY.
      what you and the ingnorant like you fail to realize is there is no government benefits till fed govt recognition.
      Christ you are an idiot!

      July 24, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |

      @peg... if they been happy together for 25 years... why do they have to get married now?...check their w-2's next year and you'll se why...

      July 24, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |

      i'm suppose to feel sorry for you cause you have a kid? you should have listened to your parents and paid attention at school and got good grades.. or not have a kid till you were ready to suport it.. now i have to pay for it...
      if your on welfare you not paying much in taxes, and what ever you pay in taxes doesn't come close to the cost of having that baby cost us(tax payers)..
      do us a favor find a babysitter and go back to school in stead of sitting around and watching jerry springer all day...

      July 24, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankie


      NUTT, in case you didn't know it (and I am sure you don't), SS benefits are actually LOWER for married couples with the payment lowered for the person who made LESS earned income and is listed as the dependent. Luckily (in this case) for those ladies, the feds are not legally allowed to recognize their marriage and so cannot reduce their benefits.

      BTW, the state of New York already has insurance programs for same-gender partners, so it wasn't the insurance, either. In other words, they didn't do anything for the money. Whatever you may "think", they did it for love and mutual LEGAL rights.

      July 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |

      i dont really care what they do or if they are gay...i just feel that weddings should be what the bible says-man+woman... if gays want to get together it should just be a civil contract or something..
      i also feel that armed forces people should be dont ask dont tell..."i dont care if you are gay...i dont want to know" people in the armed forces have enuff to deal with and need to be focused on thier safety instead of wether or not that their partner is gay or going to try and kiss them...

      July 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |

    im gonna marry donald trump.. that way when i retire i can claim his retirement pay...

    July 24, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Morelikedumbnut

      Maybe they're just getting married because they can now, but ignorant people like you just won't accept that.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • oscar meyer weiner man

      i'm gonna marry the "pilsbury dough boy" and make some pigs in the blanket....
      then get on his insurance plan and make everyones rates go up...

      July 24, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • D

      You couldn't possibly appear more ignorant. Brittney can have her 50 hour marriage, but 2 people that have been together for how long are just scamming people now that they can get married?

      July 24, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |

    WELL young ruffnutt i am impressed by you offer.. but you will have to earn my retirement... -unzips zipper-

    July 24, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. justathought

    I wonder if marrage will affect gay couples as it does straights. I knew a couple who raised a family together. tneir kids and others urged them to get married after they had lived together almost 40 years. The marraige didn't even last a year. This wasn't an isolated case, there are many cases like this. Marraiged somehow changes the relationship.

    July 24, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |

      well... ofcourse... the'll get tired of each others sh!#...

      July 24, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. oscar meyer weiner man

    im always down for a sword fight...

    July 24, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. justathought

    Goodness, I need to edit more. The above is really crummy!

    July 24, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. sportsgenius38

    I am going to switch careers and become a divorce attorney representing just gays,I WILL BECOME THE COUNTRYS TOP GROSSING. DIVORCE LAWYER IN 2YRS.

    July 24, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • peg

      and that is based on what research? genius, i think not.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Uly

      Well, divorce is a booming business, but given that there are more straight couples than gay couples I think you're limiting yourself somewhat.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cleber

    Everydody deserves be happy. So be happy and congratulations to the new couple.

    July 24, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. Olisa

    Father Lord Forgive Them For They Dont Know What They Are Doing. Its a shame!

    July 24, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • WEBSPY

      Would it be a sin to deny God and say I will not be who he made me,,,but the Deity thing and fairies and unicorns, and the earth is flat, and the magic condo in the sky, sorry but that was made up to comfort scared peeps that thought lightning was a sign from the godS,,, don't believe me look it up its called google,,, well fairies may be real!!!!

      July 24, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • dingdang

      I'm sure they have no clue what they're doing at all. They're judgement must be clouded by LOVE and DEVOTION!

      July 24, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Religion, the easy opium for the stupid and uneducated. A crutch to oppress others. A blindfold to reality.

      Truly a horror that we've kept this awful system alive, this long.

      July 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Karen H

    Yes, they don't love each other at all and want to spend the rest of their lives together, they just want to reap the benefits. Same with every person in Canada...oh wait, we give people benefits regardless.

    July 24, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. WEBSPY

    CONGRADULATIONS,,,I personaly I'm A se xual I think, or Spouse C,,,I don't want any one to bug me,,,but woh am I to Judge?

    July 24, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. dingdang

    The new civil rights in America.

    July 24, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ginelle

    This is the best news! If people pay taxes, vote in elections, fight for their country, raise their families and love each other, then why should they not be allowed to honour that committment to each other by legal recognition of their union.

    July 24, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joe

    Im sick and tired of all this gay this and gay that being shoved down America's throat!

    July 24, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Stevie

      Nobidy forced you to read this story. Yet you and your type always seem to click on the link and then of course you have to comment about it. Don't like it? Don't read about it. I have had your hetero crap rammed down my throat for 47 years and even today at every turn, everywhere I go, and no one asked me if I liked it.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Uly

      Why is it that anti-gay comments always talk about things being "shoved down their throats"? It's an interesting turn of words.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Uly, somehow I get the feeling they only WISH something was being "shoved down their throats".

      July 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hefe

    So, when are we going to start seeing people that like to screw their animals want to marry them?

    July 24, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • sheep farmer ted,,,,

      well it'll be easy to consimate the just get the sheep to an edge of a cliff... the sheep will "push back" ...

      July 24, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • WJ

      You sound very eager to be first in line.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Name: (required)

      At this rate it probably wont be too far off...

      July 24, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • dingdang


      July 24, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • jersey

      When the animals can be consenting tax paying citizens. PS find a new avenue..this one was used when people didnt want blacks and whites to marry, Jews and Christians, Irish and Scottish and so it goes through history. Two tax paying American should be able to marry. Period.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Uly

      Well, despite the Planet of the Apes movie coming out, animals can't talk. They can't reason, either. So they can't consent to marriage. So it's not likely to come up.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
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