Hundreds of gay New Yorkers embraced their newly-won right to marry on Sunday, celebrating across the state as mostly supportive onlookers cheered them or threw confetti. Niagra Falls, for a long time one of America's most famous wedding destinations, married its first gay couple, Kitty Lambert, 54, and Cheryle Rudd, 53 (pictured, left), at 12.01am on Sunday, marking an end to their 11-year old engagement. The couple from Buffalo, who have five adult children and 12 grandchildren, enjoyed a candlelight procession from Goat Island across Bridal Veil Falls as hundreds of friends, local politicians, and activists cheered them on. In Manhattan, where 293 couples were married yesterday, 77-year old Phyllis Siegel, and her 85-year old partner, Connie Kopelov, made history as the city's first gay wedding.
"I am breathless. I almost couldn't breathe," Siegel said after the ceremony. "It's mind-boggling. The fact that it's happening to us--that we are finally legal and can do this like everyone else."
The bulk of the day's marriages took place in New York City, where 659 couples picked up licenses across the city's four boroughs. In Manhattan, Gov. Cuomo hosted a party for same-sex marriage advocates, while Mayor Bloomberg presided at a wedding in the backyard of Gracie Mansion. Amid the general sense of celebration, State Senator Rubin Diaz Sr, a Bronx Democrat, declared, "Today, we start the war," annoucing the launch of a website and anti-Cuomo campaign called LetThePeopleVote.com. Speaking to the crowd in Spanish with an English interpreter, Diaz Sr. said a lawsuit would be initiated against same-sex marriage next week. "Everything they're doing today is criminal and it's wrong," he said.
Meanwhile, Out launches its weddings section today, with advice, details and resources, travel information, and a section for wedding announcements and vows. If you are planning on getting married, share your wedding announcements and photos with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org