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. banasy

    They were talking about the LGBT *movement* starting out in NY, not when the first case of AIDS was reported.
    Another issue entirely, wouldn't you say?
    I would.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jj

    yup joe i been sayin that 4 years. why should i have to explain to my little ones why john and jerome r making out on the park bench. disgusting!

    July 24, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. yep

    Ewww, SICK!

    July 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      If you don't like it, why'd you look? Let me guess. You clicked on the story just to post that pithy comment, right?

      July 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    banasy...They were talking about gays getting together, forming groups, and getting things done for gays. TAG was the first time that gays formed a group specifically designed to deal with gay issues. When AIDS first broke out, the first Americans dignosed with it were all gay men from the SF area. The spread of this disease from gay men to the bi and hetero community was warned about, and chronicled by then Surgeons's General C. Evrett Koop. He warned that it would spread rapidly and I'll be darned if he wasn't right.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Concerned

    Ahhh yes they finally did it. Now I can hardly wait until the beastiality couples, child couples, Adult/Child couples get thier marriage rights. aww hell lets let everyone marry anything they want to blow up dolls, pets, trees and of course dual personalities should be able to guessed it themselves.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |

      im going to marry my 82 camaro... it needs health care...

      July 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Get a life! That's the same thing people said when allowing interracial marriage was first discussed. And, as you might have noticed, people are not exactly beating the doors down to do any of the things you list.

      Of course, marrying animals or inanimate objects IS legal in some far Eastern countries. At least one European country allows for marrying a dead person. People DO (illegally) marry children in this country NOW and it only becomes an issue during "sweeps week" or when some pervy celebrity marries a girl young enough to be his granddaughter (with parental consent).

      In other words, your fears are overblown and a result of too much Faux input.

      July 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    *the first group designed to combat gay issues on a nationwide scale rather. I'm sure other groups of gays were formed prior to 1981...none that dealt with gays having AIDS though.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Frankie

    I love that the first couple to marry in NYC was one that has been together for decades. Sort of belies the falsehoods spread that gays are incapable of long-term commitments and love, doesn't it?

    July 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Concerned

      Oh i see now. These other groups should only be allowed to marry when a certain number of folks fight for legalization huh....discriminate much? It starts with this and your godless soul knows it. G A Y S are an abomination before G O D S eyes and they will be cleansed in the lake of fire, so sayeth the L O R D G O D almighty. G A Y S destroy civilizations its.

      July 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • NT

      @ concerned: stay concerned, i bet you are also against biracial marriage

      July 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mmmmm

    yuck and gross! old freezer women geezers!

    July 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    @Frankie...not really. Many people live together without getting married, so big deal. Their "divorce" (couples living together then splitting up) rate is kind of high though. (shrug) What is the "divorce" rate among the LGBT community, or do they even keep track.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      The breakup rate is just as high as for straight couples who live together without getting married. Your point is...what?

      July 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    And you mentioned the first couple. How long were the other couples together...on average. Hmmm, doesn't say.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      It doesn't say, but does it matter? Length of relationship is not always an indicator of commitment.

      There are still certain religious groups in this country that arrange the marriages of their children where the first time the couple sees each other is on their wedding day.

      People get married all the time after only dating for weeks-or days. Las Vegas actually had to change their licensing laws as a result of too many "drunk dunks" into the marriage pool. One can no longer get a marriage license on the weekends any more and must apply during the week. But I digress...

      If gay couples believe they are ready to commit, they should be allowed the same ability as straight couples have to do so. And, if (as someone pointed out) Britney Spears can get married and divorced in 50 hours, they should have that right, too.

      July 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frankie

    Guess what, Randy? There are many, many gay couples who have done the same things (including military service) without the legal protections you and your "str8 wife" have done. Of course, that little bit about your wife makes me think you are a troll, here to stir the schite.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bobcat2u

    This is not natural. But I know there is no way I can be "politically and/or socially correct with my post, so for once I'm going to keep my opinion to myself. Shocking, huh ?

    July 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Too late. By posting your "non-comment", you made it clear what you meant.

      July 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • rob

      naturlaistic fallacy : used to refer to the claim that what is natural is inherently good or right, and that what is unnatural is bad or wrong.

      There is nothing "unnatural" about gays. It happens in the animal world. Animals are in nature are they not? So I would argue it is perfectly "natural"

      July 25, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    Philip... the birthplace of the LGBT movement was in NY.
    I believe what you are talking about is a group that addressed MALE gays. The LGBT encompasses all people.
    And that movement was born in NEW YORK.
    The name of the movement was born in NEW YORK.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    Whatever banasy. As long as the LGBT community abides by our demands to NOT EVER refer to their couplings as 'Holy Matrimony', they can even have SS death benefits if their wife dies. Currently, the federal government does not recognize gay marriages, so no SS benefits are there for gays. But I would even give them my SS if they all promised to never refer to what they do as "holy".

    July 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      How about you stop calling a secular, legal construct "holy"? Marriage as we now know it was designed in feudal times to keep the men on the manor and taxable by a church/state agreement to claim "God" would only recognize a formal ceremony. The Church collected money, the lord of the manor collected taxes and the men were kept at bay by fear of legal punishment for leaving their women. Before that, only the very wealthy had legally binding ceremonies–mostly to protect assets and form alliances. The rest just shacked up.

      We are one of a small handful of allegedly "modern" countries that recognize a religious ceremony alone as proof of marriage. Every other modern country requires those wanting to legally wed do so in a STATE office with a JP or registrar certifying it. Even the royal families of Europe have to get that STATE certification on top of having those pretty public church ceremonies or the marriage is not legal.

      I said someplace in this comment section that it is time for us to get on the ball and come up with the same, across the board marriage standards for our country. I would go a step further and insist upon a requirement for a secular certification for the marriage to be legal. Then, those who want to have the fancy ceremony can do so.

      Of course, we could just go back to the pre-feudal days where people just posted their intentions to hook up (what posting banns really meant) and then moved in together. I prefer the notion of a contract marriage myself, where terms are laid out ahead of time for support, children, property, etc. and a time limit can be set by mutual agreement with options for renewal.

      July 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • NT

      @ frankie: I'm with you but you need to really back off now. The word holy, we all know what it means. it has to be blessed by a religious group to be referred to it as holy. So if you have a problem with not using it, i suggest you start a religious group for LGBT. I'm sure this wont be a problem since the US houses some unlimited number of different sects.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    AIDS was created by God to deal with the undesirables and a means to eradicate them. Only doing right by Jesus will end this scourge of sodomy.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz


      July 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz


      July 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
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