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Couples Turned
Away at New York City Marriage Bureau

Couples Turned
Away at New York City Marriage Bureau

New York City's marriage bureau was the site of protest Thursday as hundreds of gay couples showed up to be wed, only to be turned away. The action, part of nationwide demonstrations on Freedom to Marry Day, highlighted the lack of marriage equality in New York State, the Associated Press reports.

One couple that was denied a marriage license was Matt Flanders, 37, and Will Jennings, 29, of Brooklyn. "I should be able to marry the person I love," Flanders said he told officials, according to the AP. "And they said, 'We can only offer you a domestic partnership.'"

Protesters outside the marriage bureau waved signs and chanted slogans like "What do we want? Marriage! When do we want it? Now!" according to the AP. But the hullabaloo didn't seem to disturb the heterosexual couples waiting for marriage licenses.

"They didn't bother us on our big day and they have a right to protest," King Lau, 30, told the AP, as his fiancee, Cheryl Zhang, 25, looked on with approval.

The demonstration was organized by the New York chapter of Join the Impact, which coordinated the hundreds of rallies that occurred in the aftermath of Proposition 8's passage in California. (

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