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

    What on earth does how long a couple has been together before getting married have to do with anything, whether the couple is straight or gay?
    Absolutely nothing.
    And if gay marriages were not recognized, chances are there are no statistics for gay divorces, as those don't legally exist, either.
    What...are people going to feel better about their *own* failed marriages if they find out gay couples are equally miserable with their choices?
    I'm sure there are...human nature being what it is....

    July 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm

    Nah! Those two old ladies are going to hell in a handbag! Y'all go ahead anna follow them to the eternal fires of hell...I've got better things to do and better places to go...

    July 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • rob

      If God loves us so much why did he invent hell?

      And why, if the devil is pure absolute evil, does he punish bad people instead of good people? The devil would celebrate evil people wouldn't he?

      That is, of course, assuming your crackpot religion is correct.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Drag N Drop

    @Philip: It's not YOUR SS.. It's OUR SS and they should get what they pay into as well as pensions being passed on to their partner. We rip off legal immigrants as they pay into SS too. If I were Gay and paid into a fund I would want what I paid into.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Drag N Drop

    @Mmm.. Lol are you God? I see Jesus isn't the only one with an ego that makes him judge, jury and executioner. Considering all the nasty and evil things done in the name of religion I doubt two cute old ladies scissoring in the privacy of their own home is top on God's list of things to deal with. Now run along and stone an unruly child, but not the cheating hereto mother that produced him.. BTW I don't think Hades exists in the form your false prophet wishes. He will probably not be given any pleasure in being king to those being punished. Sorry.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    I'm gonna marry RuffNutt. That way I can live off his alimony from Trump.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |

      don't think you can drive my camaro if we get married...and i'll have you sign a prenump...

      July 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      No prenump punk!

      July 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    Whatever, Philip. Nowhere have I seen that gays are insisting that their marriage be considered "holy".
    It seems the "holier" one considers themself, the more intolerant and hateful they are towards something that they cannot understand.
    One cannot help who they love, no matter what some in society say.
    You hate gays.
    I get that.
    I *don't* hate gays.
    I am not one, but I really don't care who one loves.
    And I'd love to do lesbians commit "sodomy"?
    They don't.
    But plenty of men want to commit sodomy on their wives/girlfriends, don't they?
    it's "exit only" for *everyone*, wouldn't you say, Philip?
    That act is just as unnatural between a man and a woman, wouldn't you say, Philip?
    I would!

    July 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |

      who cares if these old girls are gay... why do they need our premission to be married? i'm just tired of all the gay marrage stuff in the news...
      their gay..great who cares,,, i dont want to hear about it anymore...lets focus on something that jobs...

      July 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sodomy Expert

      @banasy: Sodomy is defined as any act other than straight bare bones boring schmex. Essentially what lesbians do is considered sodomy. They also use strap ons which to me just seems odd, because they could just invite a guy to join them. *ahem*

      July 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hitkirra

    Why couldn't it be a HOT lesbian couple?

    July 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |

      only if the wedding night is televisied...

      July 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |

      btw most lesbians are really fat ugly chicks...

      July 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    @Dragon drop...I agree. I meant that they could have my personal SS benefits if they agreed to never call their unions "Holy Matrimony". And I also agree that God is upset with our religious leaders, particularly the ones claiming to be "christian", Christ-like. Jesus didn't do what today's religious are doing. Why did they name themselves after him?

    July 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    Cesar! Hello!
    I was just thinking yesterday that I haven't seen you around...and here you are!

    July 24, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    @banasy: Hello *real* banasy. So nice to see you here. Hope you and your family are doing great. I wonder what Philip that is; doubt it's the original. I don't hate gays either. It's their right and their business who they want. BTW, one of my aunts is gay.

    July 24, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Who care's?!?!? And why do christians have to be labeled as "haters" for admonishing the sinner it is really an act of mercy!

      July 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy

    My family is doing great, thanks for asking. Hopefully, we'll get to keeps out usernames for a day or two...

    You have not written a word that I've disagreed with yet.
    Thank you.

    July 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    Condemning someone for who they love is generally considered an act of hate, Mmmmmm. That's why.

    July 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    Spoken like someone who see hate for what is is.

    July 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. smurfette

    i never get any attention.... all the other smurfs are sucking on other smurf's smurfs...

    July 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CrowMeris

    Congratulations to them, and to all who marry today – regardless of their orientation. Love each other, help each other, stand up for each other, be your spouse's best friend and greatest cheerleader. Bless you!

    July 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
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