Gays form line at altar to be first to wed in NY

Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:24pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Gay and lesbian couples across New York are gearing up to wed starting on Sunday, when a law that makes New York the sixth U.S. state to allow same-sex marriage comes into effect.

Following is a look at laws on gay marriage in the United States and what will happen in New York on Sunday:

* As of Sunday, same-sex marriage is allowed in six of the 50 U.S. states -- Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont -- and the District of Columbia. The most populous among them is New York, which approved same-sex marriage on June 24.

* Four states -- Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey -- have approved gay civil unions. Gay marriage is specifically banned in 39 states.

* Courts and state legislatures have legalized gay marriage in the United States but popular votes have consistently opposed same-sex unions, most recently in Maine.

* Arizona is the only state where voters rejected a constitutional ban on gay marriage, in 2006, but they approved a similar measure in 2008.

* The first legal same-sex marriages in the United States took place in Massachusetts in 2004.

* In New York City, 823 same-sex and opposite-sex couples are expected to be married on Sunday. Same-sex couples plan to wed in various ceremonies across the state on Sunday.

* President Barack Obama's administration in February announced it will no longer defend a 15-year-old U.S. law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. A federal judge in Boston had found the law was unconstitutional.

(Reporting by Basil Katz in New York; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (2)
marypugh wrote:
Looking for an officiant for that special Sunday July 24th wedding in New York City?

Mary C. Pugh, registered marriage officiant for the city of New York, will marry you for free on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. (longer if there are a lot of couples who need me) I have performed over 500 same sex events and have been shown on NBC, CBS, ABC news programs. I also married Rachel and Rachel on the Tyra Banks show.

Come to Washington Square Park AFTER you get your license and a waiver on the 24 hr. waiting period.

Look for a petite woman in a Purple robe with a lavendar stole. Click to see how to get your license:
Bring your license and two witnesses. (small weddings only- have to have fewer than 20 people or need a permit)

Sí, hablo español

Questions? Call 203 838 1038

Jul 22, 2011 5:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kimcoccagnia wrote:
In celebration with everyone Rev Shari will be officiating for free near the city clerks office. I will be photographing at no cost to the couple!

Jul 22, 2011 12:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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