Reporting Marcia Kramer
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.
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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.
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