NYC Holding Lottery For First Same-Sex Weddings On July 24

Approximately 20-25 Percent Of Those Who Pre-Applied Will Get To Go On Day 1

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –– The demand has been overwhelming.

Same-sex couples who want to get married Sunday — the first day it’s legal in New York — will have to enter a city lottery, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Extra bouquets have been ordered and the gift shop at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau now has wine stoppers with two brides or two grooms, same-sex rubber duck couples and t-shirts that say “I got married in New York City.” Everything is ready for gay couples wanting to tie the knot.

“We’re going to make history,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: A Busy Sunday

The problem is 2,660 couples pre-applied for marriage licenses online to get married on Day 1 and the city clerk’s office can’t handle it, so there’s going to be a lottery — 764 couples will be selected to be married in the city clerk’s five borough offices — 400 in Manhattan, 112 in Brooklyn, 112 in Queens, 98 in the Bronx and 42 on Staten Island.

“The last thing we want to have happen is for couples to wait on line for hours and hours only to walk away upset on what was supposed to be the biggest days of their lives,” Bloomberg said.

“We want to make sure that Sunday is not like a trip to motor vehicles,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. “We want to make sure it’s a day you’ll remember forever.”

Couples were able to start applying for the lottery on Tuesday. They’ll be notified on Friday whether they’ve won.

But to Mimi Brown and Carol Anastasio the show will go on no matter what.

“We’re still going to go forward with everything. It’s still a commitment of love and our relationship and it’s still a big celebration for all of our friends. I mean that’s just a legal formality, which is definitely going to happen anyway,” Anastasio said.

“The fact that they mayor has to figure out a way to cope with the demand is fantastic. We really appreciate the sort of irony of not being able to marry all these years and now suddenly the doors open and it’s like a floodgate,” Brown added.

The owners of the Old Homestead Restaurant in Chelsea wanted to give something back so they gave Brown and Anastasio a big blowout wedding.

“They’re going to have the ceremony here as the love and peace ceremony and then if they don’t get their license they will go back on Wednesday,” restaurateur Greg Sherry said.

So, win the lottery or don’t win the lottery; get a license or don’t get a license, a lot of same-sex couples say they’re holding their ceremony on Sunday no matter what.

Mayor Bloomberg is also getting into the act. On Sunday he’ll marry two long-time aides at Gracie Mansion.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • demoncat4

    figured once the law got signed and given all the gay couples who have waited to be allowed to marry their lovers that new york would proably have to go with a lottery system to handle the demand. congrats to all the couples who win the lottery that day . for not only are those couples who win the marriage lottery making history as the first gay couples to marry legaly in new york but no doubt the lottery system will be used over and over till the clerk can handle the demand and licenses sunday is a good day for weedings. in new york

  • Robert Senn

    all the ugly people can finally get som,e

  • Dog Lover

    I want to marry my dog….

    • Michael H.

      Your dog can’t provide consent, nor can it sign a legally binding contract, which is what a marriage consists of.

  • Wilson

    I wish the lottery was for a free gay flight out of this once great country

    • Michael H.

      If I help you pack your bags do you promise not to come back?

  • simon goldfarb

    We at the United Jewish Federation are once again demanding that this psychotic Mayor please recuse himself from society.

  • Robert Senn

    there is somthing wrong here these people wanted to be treated eaqual but are going out of there way to be differant why cant the straight people get married that day also

    • Michael H.

      Straight people can get married on that day. They just have to enter the lottery like everybody else and hope they win. The lottery is not limited to gay couples.

      Or does nobody understand what they read these days?

      • Robert Senn

        thats true ass we were turned down

      • Michael H.

        what do you me “we were turned down”? please elaborate as to what steps you took to try to get your marriage license on sunday.

  • Scott

    Let’s see, 400 couples in Manhattan. With 60 minutes, given 10 hour day (and that is being generous) that is 600 minutes. With 400 couples in Manhattan on this day given a slot, that is 0.66 minutes to marry each couple. Less than a minute each. If you call that special you need to see a pychiatrist. But in my opinion, they don’t deserve any better, and they will know why when they have to answer the ultimate calling. Meantime, this bending over backwards for a small minority of misfits is really very sad.

    • Brooklyn McDirtyshoes

      You might be surprised to learn that the archaic, technologically impaired island of Manhattan has the capacity to marry more than one couple at a time.


      • Scott

        Yes, I know they have the capacity, just not the common sense. Guess we will find out next week with the many articles that will be written about it. Thanks Fuggie !

      • Brooklyn McDirtyshoes


    • Michael H.

      If you’ve got 400 couples to marry in 600 minutes, that’s 1.5 minutes per couple. your math is wrong, as is your assertion that they are a “small minority of misfits”. you know more gay people than you realize.

  • Good-Luck

    Actually, a very confusing scenario. For example, what about the non-same-sex couples who applied for this date too? And the same-sex couple who won a lavish wedding reception for this day? Does this only apply to those actially being married IN the NYC marriage license bureaus, or to everyone — many couples will be married in churches, restaurants, gardens, or at home.

    By the way, not all couples are “beautiful,” whatever their orientations!! Don’t go all stereotypical. I’ve seen a 250 pound bride with a happy groom. All they need to be is suited to each other.

  • Ellen

    Going to do this for all the straight couples that want to get married as well? Now talk about discrimination right there.

    • Michael H.

      Straight couples are able to enter the lottery as well. The issue at hand is, you don’t have straight couples flocking to the city clerks offices all on the same day to get married. If a straight couple wants to get their marriage license this Sunday, they have the same exact chance as any gay couple of winning this lottery.

      Or they can wait til next weekend, or pick a day during the week to go down there when it will be less crowded.

      How, exactly, is this discrimination?

  • E

    Keep voting LIBERAL!



    • Joseph Didonato

      Dude dont you work? you are always posting!! get off welfare and go to worl u low LIFE!!

      • CAPS LOSER

        Would you hire him? I rest my case

      • Michael H.

        YOU SLEEP WITH ME??????????/

    • Brooklyn McDirtyshoes

      I agree, but sometimes when this many people love each other this much, the capacity to process all of the necessary paperwork is limited. I, too, wish that all of these beautiful couples could be married on the day of their choosing. I appreciate your support of the right of marriage being extended to all New Yorkers and empathize with your anger at the processing delays. Sometimes we just need to be patient and understanding.

      U mad bro?

      • Michael H.

        Thank you. I needed a good laugh today. Well done!

      • Michael H.


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