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)
  1. kayani


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

    It is about time that equality is being made available to more Americans. We are not there yet, but the pace is picking up. Those who still believe their religious beliefs should trump the rights of their fellow Americans will never prevail. Those without a religious background, and just oppose equality out of ignorance and hatred will ultimately be scorned by generations of future Americans. Progress will happen, it may take a little more time, but equality will win in the end.
    May God bless these couples with happiness and abundance.

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

      Your Welcome

      July 24, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Spoken like a true smothering wick.

      July 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ck

    Did Ginelle just try to compare Google to a book that is thousands of years old? Moron.

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

      But still b s all the same

      July 24, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Google has access to a lot more factual information at hand than that one book.

      July 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |

    Me personally think marriage is the scam lol The women takeing the last name, and her property becoming his and all that good stuff was created by an Egyptian King that promised this to any man who would join his army,,,All threw human societies this was practiced to create foot soldiers,,,well wars are fought differently now but we still have this out dated practice,,,Yes the universe is in constant change,,,And in 20 years I will not be the same person and even if I hate your guts, I will be there every day to remind you!

    July 24, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    How sick and dementedly perverted can u get

    July 24, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. ALicia

    Congrats to the couples. Find love where ever you can and celebrate. The luckiest people are the ones who find it!

    July 24, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      alishakeys said the same thing, too!

      July 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. D

    Seriously? Some of these couples HAVE been together for 30 years already, and haven't had the benefits you enjoy just because you happen to be a man and a woman. How do you know they're not law-abiding citizens? You're tired of 'hearing about the gay crap'? I'm tired of hearing hate and fear like yours. You will continue to lose this because you continue to want to deny perfectly good people the freedoms that you enjoy( and you'd scream bloody murder over if you'd lost).

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

      I agree with you BUT....They still do not have legal rights. Only the state sees the marriage. The federal government denys it.
      These people pay more taxes. they do not get spouse's Social security, or a pension. We have come a long way. But still need to fight for ALL rights

      July 25, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • xperson

      Really ? I want you to know something and to be sure that You are destroying yourself your public moral , the moral of your family and the moral of the whole country , you are doing this against the GOD's will , God is my witness when all of you ( gay) will feel the real punishment.Personaly I would eliminate everyone of you with pleasure !

      July 26, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. mjh


    July 24, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Anthony

    You sir, are an ignorant fool.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Name*Randyman917

    Hi,D I am sure ur probably a intelligent, law abiding citizen who I would get along with just fine! I am trying 2 say that we have so many other problems on small planet to worry about,we r expending so much energy on what I think is a issue that is in contrary to the laws of nature. As for my benefits and education,etc, my wife and I struggled andearned every bit of it. Just tired of seeing this issuein every segment of the media.Its being shoved down the throats of society at every turn by the zealous few. The silent majority is sick of it. Believe me,If it was not such a hot button issue in the political sector,ie. politically incorrect to oppose it, you wouldhear a lotless of it. Live long and well D! I agree to disagree!

    July 24, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Uly

      The silent majority... you mean dead folks? Because that's what the phrase means, you know.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Uly

    You spent 30 years together before you got married? Wow, that's... insane, actually, but whatever floats your boat.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Marty in Wyoming

    Congradulations my friends! God bless us all. I wish I could have been at your weddings. One day soon we will enjoy holy matrimony in Wyoming too! God has blessed us this day. Amen.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    You don't think at 77 and 85, they don't already have insurance benefits?
    They can also collect more SS by remaining single.
    This is why a *lot* of single Seniors don't get married.
    Fortunately, their commitment to each other trumps money.
    I think this is the coolest thing *ever*!
    I actually got a tear in my eyes reading about this.
    Let them live.
    Let them love.
    It does not affect me in any way, shape, or form.
    It doesn't affect *anybody* but themselves.

    Congratulations to all the couples marries today, tomorrow, and always.

    Well done, NY.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      The marriage won't affect their benefits because the federal government still does not recognize same-gender marriages as legal. They just barely recognize transgender marriage as it is.

      For purposes of SSI and Medicare, they are still single. For purposes of inheritance, regular medical, etc. they are married.

      We really do need a UNIFIED marriage policy that lays down ONE standard for the entire nation, instead of having 50 different and contradictory ones. As usual, we are behind the rest of the industrial world where that is concerned.

      July 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    This CNN article says that the Gay and Lesbian Movement began in New York City. That's not entirely true. A group whom call themselves 'TAG' was formed by two of the first Americans to be diagnosed with AIDS, and is still in operation. AIDS borke out of San Francisco, not NY. The first few dozen cases were all gay men living in the San Francisco area, and they formed THIS action group in 1981, long before the first new Yorker contracted AIDS. The movement spread from SF to everywhere, especially places like NYC that have very high gay/hetero population ratios. Let's see if we can get CNN to do a story about TAG.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT1962

      You said that the Gay and Lesbian movement didn't begin in NYC because it began in San Francisco where the first cases of AIDS were found. The article wasn't talking about the AIDS movement but the Gay and Lesbian movement, which got it's first real beginnings at the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. The riot that occurred after police raids was the beginnings of the entire gay rights movement. Try reading up on gay history.

      July 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    What you are seeing is signs for God's people that we are coming to the end. When you see man with man and women with women you know time is short. God says as it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be. What sin was running like wild fire then??
    Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    Never before has man become proud of sin. The reason for this is God had lifted His hand of restraint from this sin.

    I am not pointing my finger at this sin, I have plenty of sin of my own. I am just pointing out what is taking place. We are coming to the end and this happens to be a sign.

    As it was in the days of Lot so shall it be....

    July 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL!

      There is no such thing as a "god", roflmao!

      July 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • NT

      If you are not pointing out than don't comment.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
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