Same-sex marriage begins in New York

July 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
New York usered in legal gay marriage just after midnight on Sunday.

Couples planning to wed in the first week under the new law talked not only about blissful futures, but also hard-fought victories, political statements and a sense that New York is catching up with what has been in their hearts for a long time.

Mark Lynch, who will marry his partner of 29 years Monday in a group ceremony at Niagara Falls, says their marriage will be an important symbol.

New York is the sixth and largest state to sanction same-sex marriage. Clerks' offices in New York City and a dozen other cities will open Sunday specifically to handle the crush of couples.

At the city clerk's office in Manhattan, barriers were already up in anticipation of long lines.

On Friday, 823 couples entered a lottery to be married on Sunday and none were turned away.