Gay wedding bells ring in New York

NEW YORK, July 24 (UPI) -- A 76-year-old New York City woman said she was overcome with emotion while marrying her partner on the first day of legal same-sex marriages in the state.

''It was just so amazing,'' Phyllis Siegel told the New York Post after tying the knot with 84-year-old Connie Kopelov at the marriage bureau office in Lower Manhattan. "'It's the only way to describe it. I lost my breath and a few tears."


Siegel and Kopelov were among the first of many gay couples to get married under the new state law that passed last month. The New York Times said a long line of couples waited at the city clerk's office in Manhattan to apply for marriage licenses.

Some couples made arrangements to tie the knot shortly after the law took effect at midnight EDT.

In North Hempstead, Town Clerk Leslie Gross went to her office at midnight to issue a license for two of her friends and also accommodated another couple that rushed over when they heard the office was going to be open. Early weddings required a judge to sign a waiver of the 24-hour waiting period between the time the license is issued and the actually ceremony.


Plenty of couples decided to wait for a more decent hour.

Opponents of gay marriage maintained a low profile. The Times said an informal poll of New York clergy found the vast majority did not intend to address the issue in their Sunday sermons.

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