First Marriages Start in N.Y.
BY Neal Broverman
July 24 2011 4:35 AM ET
Same-sex couples in New York took part today in a moment that many never expected would be legally possible. Some walked down the aisle in the early hours of the morning while others walked the steps to a city clerk's office in line for an official slip of paper as the sixth and largest state to enact marriage equality began issuing licenses.
In New York City, where 823 couples who were selected to get married today by entering a lottery, the first to get hitched in Manhattan were Phyllis Sigel and Connie Kopelov, who said the feeling was "indescribable." By 7 a.m. about 50 couples were waiting behind them.
In Brooklyn, bride Sabrina Velez was overcome with emotion while in line to marry Lillian Hernandez. They were among the couples dressed in white gowns who entered the city clerk's office and came back out as married.
Cheryle Rudd and Kitty Lambert became perhaps the first couple married in the state when they wed at Niagara Falls as a nearby bell tolled 12 times, The New York Times reports. The legendary falls were lit with rainbow-colored lights, while Rudd and Lambert's wedding ceremony was officiated by Niagara Falls mayor Paul Dyster. The brides were surrounded by 100 friends and family members who cheered as Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory" was pumped over speakers.
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