Same-Sex Couples Rush To Plan Weddings In NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With New York becoming the sixth state – and the largest – in the union to legalize same-sex marriage, many couples now are getting set to enjoy their newly-won legal status.

Couples can legally begin pre-applying for a $35 marriage license starting July 5. On July 25, New York State will begin issuing those licenses.

Under special circumstances, gay and lesbian couples will be able to obtain a waiver from a judge and get married immediately. Most other same-sex couples would be allowed to get hitched the next day, on July 26.

If demand is high enough, the City Clerk’s Office is prepared to extend its hours and make more judges available to perform civil ceremonies.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell: Gay Weddings Will Mean Big Money

“I believe New York has sent a message to this nation loud and clear. It is time for marriage equality all across this country,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, however, did not put an end to the controversy. Local clergy are divided over the new law, and some lawmakers outside the Empire State were vowing not to follow Albany’s lead.

“I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. That’s my view, and that’ll be the view of our state because I wouldn’t sign a bill like the one that was in New York,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said.

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New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who has spoken out against same-sex marriage repeatedly, did so again after Sunday Mass.

“We don’t believe that marriage can be changed and radically altered to accommodate a particular lifestyle,” he said.

Not all churches oppose the legislation. Rev. Jacqueline Lewis of Middle Collegiate Church expressed her joy after the signing.

“We feel very happy,” she said.

With gay marriage will inevitably come gay divorce, believes Alton Abramowitz, vice president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

“At the outset, I think we’re going to receive more prenuptial agreement business,” says Abramowitz. “Particularly here in the city, where the financial services industry is so strong and people often make seven-figure incomes.”

“A lot of same-sex couples have been together for many years and have accumulated significant wealth,” he says.

New York does not require the couple live in the state to be married there.

Matrimonial lawyer Stephen Silberfein says that could complicate divorce.

“If they go back to their home state that doesn’t recognize same gender marriage, they may have to come back to New York to litigate,” he says.

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Broadly speaking, gay couples will be subject to the same rules as heterosexual couples, but custodial rights may differ.

“Including if adoptions were performed, for example, in states that don’t recognize the partner as a parent,” says Silberfein.

There may be a rush to the altar, but both lawyers don’t expect to see a spike in divorce for at least another decade.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Reaction From Mayor Bloomberg At Gracie Mansion

It is estimated between license fees, banquets, parties and rehearsal dinners, same sex marriage could add as much as $140 million to the city’s economy.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city has a month to get ready for what he assumes will be an influx of gay marriages once the new law takes effect.

“We’d love to have you come here, stay in a hotel, buy flowers, clothes, meals, whatever. It’s good for the economy,” said Bloomberg in remarks at Gracie Mansion on Monday.

Noting there are six states and the District of Columbia that already perform gay marriages the mayor said he didn’t know if everybody will rush to New York after the first day.

“We have thirty days to get ready and there’s a handful of people who probably want to be on the first day,” said Bloomberg. “Will there be lines the first day, yes, get ready for it. That’s a lot better than no lines.”

He said Coucil Speaker Christine Quinn was thinking of marrying in the fall or spring.

New York City is reportedly planning an “I Do” campaign to woo gay weddings. The mayor is expected to unveil it sometime this week.

New Paltz Mayor Jason West (r) presides over a same-sex marriage in 2004 (credit: AP)

New Paltz Mayor Jason West (r) presides over a same-sex marriage in 2004 (credit: AP)

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell With Reaction From New Paltz

Performing gay weddings will have something of a deja vu quality for New Paltz mayor Jason West.

In 2004, he made national headlines by marrying gay couples.

He likes to think that helped generate some momentum.

“At least locally, the weddings in New Paltz seemed to have provoked people to get organized,” he says.

That led the district attorney to arrest him on 24 misdemeanors.

“Yeah, I faced criminal charges but, how likely really was it that someone was going to put me in jail for 24 years for helping people get married?” West tells WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell.

The charges were eventually dropped.

Now west is thrilled at the prospect of performing same-sex ceremonies that are backed by law.

Do you approve of the Marriage Equality Act? Sound off in our comments section below…

More from Peter Haskell
  • darren

    I can’t wait till some network puts together “Gay Divorce Court” that will be must watch T.V.!!!

  • Amanda

    I find people’s objection to gay marriage absolutely hysterical. If you think about it the heterosexual couples making the biggest noise about this issue have deviate from there marriages by either divorce or infidelity. So if your catholic and want to “preserve the sanctity of marriage” go after your own followers FIRST.

    Second cause of laughter is the comment:
    As A Christian that is in favor of Gods law, I am apposed to same sex “marriage” I strongly believe that this country is losing what it was founded on in the first place, and that is Godly morals and ethics, lets not forget “One nation under God” “If We Ever Forget That We Are One Nation Under God, Then We Will Be A Nation Gone Under”: Ronald Reagen.
    That’s not what this country was founded on AT ALL. The settler’s fist came her to escape religious persecution. And last I checked we had a law that “THE SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STARE”. I’m 100% certain that you forcing your religious believe on my life is illegal and not to mention UNCONSTETUTIONAL. You know since I’m so “UNAMERICAN”, for believing in the freedom of religion and freedom of equality.

    Last bit of hysterical hypocrisies’ Republicans believe that Gay’s SHOULDN’T marry. But I thought being a republican meant that you want “Small Government”? A minimal acting government in every humans day life? Oh except when they tell YOU who you CAN and CAN’T MARRY?

    I’m just saying if you want to being me an argument make all you points clear and correct. So far not ONE person has convinced me why I should be aloud to marry.

    • Amanda

      Sorry about the grammer and spelling errors… hard to write on these “smart phones”.

  • koshenya31

    LOL! You lot make me laugh! There is no logical reason to be against gay marriage. It shant affect your marriage. Why not let 2 people who love each other make a public commitment?

  • Michael Schwartz

    Gays are an abomination. They will all rot in hell for their deeds.

    • Anonymous

      As A Christian that is in favor of Gods law, I am apposed to same sex “marriage” I strongly believe that this country is losing what it was founded on in the first place, and that is Godly morals and ethics, lets not forget “One nation under God” “If We Ever Forget That We Are One Nation Under God, Then We Will Be A Nation Gone Under”: Ronald Reagen.

      • koshenya31

        Last time I looked, America was not a theocracy. If you’re against gay marriage, dont have one. You’re only responsible for your actions, not everyone in the country.

    • Dale Auburn

      That’s a religious argument. What is your specific GOVERNMENTAL objection?

  • Grace

    I wrote a blog post about gay marriage: and it stirred up quite the controversy. One commenter referred to gays as “heathens”…unbelievable…and awful

  • nyc

    Vasaline sales on the rise in New York ! Wall street can’t figure out why !

    • John Gulbunnie

      It’s to grease you up before Wall Street rapes you by stealing your SSI benefits, clown.

  • Rich

    It’s funny how bigots have a hard time with spelling and grammar. They really need to stop hating and finally get their high school diploma.

  • Will

    Foam party wedding with show tunes karaoke. Disgusting

  • Moon Them

    This is good news for gay illegal aliens. Do you Bob, take Jose de la Cruz Sanchez Rivera Guatalamela Gualalupe in holy matrimony? rflmao

  • Moon Them

    JAKE671 quipped, What’s so great about same-sex marriage? My wife and I have been married for years and have the same sex every time.

    • koshenya31




  • nathan

    not said by me – obviously. Sorry Johnny. I have a big fan on here. He displays his urges towards me in a bizarre manner, but I guess its a compliment.

    • nathan

      Dare you’re scaring me from behind your computer lol.

  • Scott

    There is a lot of truth to this famous phrase: “As California goes, so goes the nation”. When they approved gay marriage in California the nation began to crumble. For now on, it will be those who speak out for morality that will be persecuted in America. Over 1 billion people in the world go to bed hungry every single night and yet, the sexual desires and preferences of what I clearly hope is a minority, seems to be the most important thing. It absolutely sickens me.

    • CSI

      But I am sure you are one of the people who go out and enjoys there life. A person who waste food, leaves water running and take what you have in your life for granted. So before you can talk about starving people and the types of life people have lo at your self first. If you are such an jovial person it shouldn’t sicken you. You should embrace life for what it is. So instead of worrying about same sex marriage worry about those starving people and do something about it. And I don’t mean giving someone one on the subway a quarter.

      • Scott

        Your comment really doesn’t make any sense and unless you know someone personally, which you don’t in this instance, you should be more careful with your insults becuase in most cases, like this one, you will be dead wrong.

    • littlestar

      This is exactly how I see it Scott. Well said. What choice do those people have.

    • CSI

      Well scott it is people like you in this world who are dead wrong. What makes you any better then the next person. You have to much hate in your blood. Every one is the same no matter what there sexual preference are. I am good with my comment. It wasn’t an insult. Just the truth. There was no hate or anything behind it. Plus is this topic affecting you any that you had to wight a comment about it.

  • olugbenga Opesanwo

    The problem of same-sex marriage is not for the present, but rather for the future. I see a foundation being laid for a society where natural order is being debased and totaly eroded.

    If we are having difficulties finding reasons to disagree with same-sex marriage, whatever happens to the fact that such marriage contributes nothing to moving the world on. Think about it, if the whole world happens be gay and Lesbian, the world would have ended thousands of years back.

    • ejones

      And if the ocean turned to chocolate syrup, we’d all get diabetes.

      Both scenarios are just as likely to happen.

  • Christian

    Just another great step in the appropriate direction. This country is filled with racism and hatred….now we can just let love live!!!!

  • nathan

    Gay marriage will increase NYS revenues by $184,000,000 (studies show). Everyone from wedding bands to clothing salespeople will be hard at work, cutting our unemployment rolls. What a terrible idea this gay marriage is.

    • Dale Auburn

      Not to mention increased CITY sales and income tax revenues. This means we get to keep cops and firefighters and teachers. It means my taxes don’t have to increase (as much). This is good.

      • Dale Auburn

        No, I’m a married HETERO and a TAXPAYING CITIZEN.

        I’m looking out for my own financial interests, and I understand that the economic benefits of gay marriage in New York are too important to be ignored.

  • John O

    July 25th is the perfect day. Its my birthday

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