NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Twenty-four hours after the Marriage Equality Act was signed into law, same-sex couples in the West Village waved flags and paused on the sidewalk to pop the question, Dave Carlin reports.
Dan Gallagher and Peter Shearer were dating for 14 years, but it took only 30 seconds to pop the question, in the middle of the New York Lesbian and Gay Pride Run no less.
“I have to stop. I have to stop,” Gallagher said, just before dropping to one knee to propose, and then immediately continuing the run after Shearer said yes.
Their newly-granted legal right to marry could generate more than $150 million in gay wedding-related spending in New York.
“If it brings more business that’s all that matters,” said cake maker John DeRobertis.
Minister Jacqui Lewis was happy to perform legal same sex weddings. “Come to my church,” she said.
Other religious leaders however, including New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, strongly condemn the decision.
Lawmakers voted in new protections so they are not required to perform same sex ceremonies.
“Nobody can force a rabbi to do a wedding, force a pastor to do a wedding,” Lewis said.
Four Republican state senators joined all but one Democrat to pass the measure. Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised them after he signed the bill into law.
“We worked in a bipartisan way and that made all the difference,” he said.
“It’s the wrong thing to do but it’s also incredibly politically stupid for the Republicans to take responsibility for passing the gay marriage bill in New York,” warned Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage.
New York joins five other states and Washington, D.C. where same sex marriage is allowed.
“I feel it trickling down to the rest of the country,” said newly-engaged Sandi Rowe.
“Finally is all I have to say. Finally,” cheered Chris Garcia.
CBS 2 caught up with State Senator Rubin Diaz, the lone Democrat who voted no. “My opinion has not changed, but it’s the law. Now they can get married but my positions still the same. I think it’s wrong,” he said.
“I was not sent to Albany to vote or push an agenda of extreme social issues,” said Republican State Sen. Greg Ball.
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