Reporting Sophia Hall
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Same-sex couples can apply for a New York State marriage license beginning Tuesday.
In New York City, the pre-applications for a $35 license can be submitted online on the City Clerk’s web site only.
The certificates won’t be issued until July 25, a day after the Marriage Equality Act takes effect.
State law generally requires couples wait 24 hours after receiving a license before they can tie the knot.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, a Long Island religious group wants the issue of gay marriage to be put on the ballot for the people of New York to vote on.
Pastor Apostol Vargas says he believes that gay marriage is an assault on family values.
“Our kids, our children, will be confused,” says Vargas. “This is bad for New York. It’s bad for the country. It’s bad for the world. [If] you really represent the people of New York, then you allow the people of New York to speak.”
WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall On Long Island
Vargas, who represents the Long Island Hispanic Pastoral Organization, says he wants the gay marriage issue to be placed on the ballot.
“Over 60 percent, maybe more, of the people of New York do not want this legalization to happen. We [are] asking our public officials to allow the people to vote. Let the people decide,” he says.
The organization will have five rallies across New York State on July 24 as they try and convince lawmakers to put the issue up for a public vote.
“We expect to have there over 20,000 people in each one of those marches. The people of New York will not go down quietly,” he says.
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