Sunday, July 24, 2011

Snapshots of Marriage Equality in New York

Marriage equality is officially a reality in New York!

I was on the dock in Cherry Grove when the law officially took effect at midnight, and the marvels of Twitter and Facebook allowed me to read that Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd had become the first same-sex couple to legally marry in New York. The DJ at Cherry's played Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" shortly after midnight, but there were no outward celebrations of the historic milestone.

A few hours later, I was finally able to board a water taxi from Ocean Beach. A large rainbow flag flew above an American flag on the end of the dock in Grove. In the Pines, an ecstatic Robin Byrd proclaimed in the harbor that it "was about damn time" that same-sex couples could marry. Florist Erin Black was busy putting the final touches on a flower assortment and matching boutonnieres for a gay couple who went to the Brookhaven Town Clerk's office in Farmingville to get married.

I ended this historic day at the LGBT Community Center in lower Manhattan where state Sens. Tom Duane [D-Manhattan] and Diane Savino [D-Staten Island], New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, Ross Levi of the Empire State Pride Agenda and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah joined dozens of same-sex couples who married earlier in the day.

Here are some snapshots that capture the day.

Newlyweds Stacey Minondo and Barbara Tremblay shortly after they stepped out of a cab at the LGBT Community Center in lower Manhattan. The Brooklyn women were the first same-sex couple to marry at Borough Hall in Brooklyn on Sunday, July 24.

Eufemio and John Torres of Brooklyn attend the LGBT Community Center's wedding reception on Sunday, July 24.

Pride and patriotism flew high in Cherry Grove on Sunday, July 24.

This message certainly resonated among some of those who celebrated marriage equality in New York on Sunday, July 24.

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