Same-Sex Couples Celebrate Bachelor Parties, Showers In New York City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Days before New York’s first gay weddings, same-sex couples are celebrating with bachelor parties and showers, some with twists on tradition. But gay or straight, some things are universal.

“My mother would kill me if we weren’t having a dinner before the wedding!” said John Feinblatt, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s chief policy adviser. “And as if that weren’t enough, we’re also having brunch on Sunday morning.”

Later Sunday at the mayor’s official residence, Gracie Mansion, on the first day same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Bloomberg will do the honors as Feinblatt, 60, marries Jonathan Mintz, 47, the city’s commissioner of consumer affairs.

Couples all over New York state, the most populous state to legalize same-sex marriages and an important political prize for advocates, are aglow with pre-wedding plans.

Rainbow Jell-O shots — a nod to the gay pride symbol — were served at an outdoor feast in Rochester that included Anne Tischer, a 59-year-old retired social worker, and her partner, 55-year-old Bess Watts, a union official. They got married in 2005 at Niagara Falls — on the Canadian side, where it was legal.

Rainbow-tinted lights will illuminate the powerful waterfalls for a reception Saturday night preceding a public wedding ceremony at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.

At a community picnic in Genesee Valley Park last Sunday, “we had a grand time, and we were the last ones out of the park,” Tischer said, noting that she knows a dozen couples who married in Canada. Some are now repeating it in New York for reasons like access to health insurance.

Jon Paul Buchmeyer and Juan Pablo Chavez, New York City residents who plan to get hitched next June in Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, had hoped to shake tradition but got talked out of it.

“Part of the process of getting married for me is not having to do what the straight world has done for years,” said Buchmeyer, a 42-year-old travel writer.

“It didn’t even dawn on me to consider things like a shower or a bachelor party,” said Buchmeyer. “But two of my straight friends, two women, said, ‘We can’t wait to start planning your shower.’ First I thought they were kidding, but then realized they meant it.”

Buchmeyer knows his eventual shower will be “really fun and different” but he hasn’t been able to fully think it through.

“I don’t want to be lured into having to do what traditional marriages do,” he said. “We discussed whether we were mimicking an institution that we don’t necessarily agree with, sometimes.”

Another New York City couple, Carol Anastasio, 49, and Mimi Brown, 57, changed plans overnight on legalizing their union of two decades from just a quick municipal ceremony to a white-limo affair preceded by a lavish bachelorette dinner.

The change came when the owners of Manhattan’s Old Homestead Steakhouse plucked their names from media reports about gay couples and offered to throw them a dinner party Thursday.

“We’ll be eating and drinking and singing rowdy songs,” said Anastasio, a city parks department employee.

The feast would include top-grade beef, single-malt scotch — “and maybe a cigar across the street,” Anastasio added with a giggle.

“This is a wonderful celebration for us; it’s not a stripper popping out of a cake,” she said. “That’s not us; we’re down to earth, simple, and we love good food and good company.”

The pair from Queens had waited years for New York to legalize same-sex marriage, Anastasio said, “because I really felt very strongly, why should I seek refuge for marriage in another state when I’m a civil servant here, with the right to the same benefits as anybody?”

Their actual wedding will be at the steakhouse, too, with about 70 guests, arriving by limo and a white-carpet entrance.

Like many other same-sex couples, Jeanette Coleman and Kawane Harris bucked tradition by attending their pre-wedding night out with their spouse-to-be in tow.

Coleman, who was booted from the military after coming out of the closet, kissed her partner under a saber at a party thrown by a friend in a 40th-floor apartment in midtown Manhattan. The word “EQUALITY” topped strawberry shortcake along with two brides in traditional attire.

“We just want what everyone else has,” she said.

Sunday’s ceremony for Coleman, 41, and Harris, 35, will feature two sabers, signifying the couple’s safe transition into their new life together.

In the village of Sharon Springs, west of Albany, a historic inn called the American Hotel is hosting several same-sex weddings — but has booked no bachelor or bachelorette parties, manager Heidi Meka said.

Among the weddings is the one for owners Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts, who just celebrated 26 years together and will get married Sept. 10.

“For them, this is a celebration of equal rights and legal protections that should have been in place for them a long, long time ago,” Meka said in an email to the Associated Press. “It’s not a celebration of the last of their ‘single days’; therefore a bachelor/ette party is not appropriate.”

Are you excited for legalization of same-sex marriage in New York? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Pike Hemmings

    A moral disorder against God’s creative plan. This is a great wound to human dignity that can never be justified.

  • HooDatIS?

    im going to newyork to get married
    im 71 and im gay and i wanna get married to my 24 yr old boyfriend
    he is so fine
    he changes my pampers and hugs me so i think we in love
    any wedding planners in the building?

  • Bob Fowler

    I am just a touch curious though, as there is apparently a desire to keep gay ‘marriage’ and God separated, why would gays want to use a religious term to signify their status?

    Marriage is a status that was created by God, and later incorporated into secular practice. It would seem that if I wanted to be German, I would behave like a German, and follow German practices and traditions, not try to act French, but call myself German, and make Germans accept me as German.

    This whole gay ‘marriage’ thing seems to be more about forcing an alternative lifestyle into a religious section of society, rather than achieving equality. If it was about equality, a simple law requiring any legally joined couple to be considered equal, and equally protected under the law would suffice. The need to be called married is just to taunt, and makes the entire thing come across as a sham.

  • Bob Fowler

    I’m just wondering if anyone has sen the coincidence between the impending moral weakening of NYC, and the apparent hellish heatwave that is engulfing us? A preview of coming events?

    Sodom and Gomorrah, centers of debase living were destroyed by brimstone. Decadent Rome burnt to the ground. Does anyone else see a pattern forming?

  • richard Allen

    I KNEW IT….Gays are spending lots of money on weddings

    I need the JOBS……..straight people just want to shack up and want a cheap DJ

    Now why would any Republican be against JOB creation??????

  • Jason C

    Wow after reading some of these comments I had to make sure I didn’t accidently log into my old city’s CBS station KHOU in Houston, Texas.
    Some New Yorkers sound like they would fit right in the Texas culture.

    • educated

      Not Texas culture, moral culture

      • Michael H.

        not moral culture, bigot culture

      • Michael H.


    • educated

      bet your fathers really proud

      • antigay

        he was taught by his 2 dads

  • basil fomine


    • antigay

      they exchange fecial rings around their pe##s

  • antigay

    no matter what the law says you are all a bunch of FREAKS and will always be looked at that way by the strait community

    • Ellen

      Can’t understand it myself. Seems like their doing their best to shove their lifestyle down out throats.

      • Michael H.

        Nobody is forcing you into a gay marriage, Ellen. Why can’t you just let others be? You have to come here and complain about people in love. It seems to me that you’re in need of some love in your life.

      • Michael H.


      • seaton

        Oh Ellen dear, I’m afraid I’m I’ll have to uninvite you from my bachelor party. We were going to play a game called “How Many Things Can You Shove Down a Straight “Woman’s” Throat?”

  • antigay

    not hard to figure that one out

  • KPMc

    YOu sign your name with three Ks and draw that juvenile joke from the article and you call other people sick degenerates?

    • kkk


    • kkk

      we know

    • kkk

      KPM and you call other people sick degenerates?

  • Pia Fan Keyport NJ

    Anyone ever hear the term, live and let live? Who is anyone to judge the way others want to live? Many of these “gay” couples as many call them, have lived together in a great relationship for many years with mutual respect for each other and total enjoyment with their lives together. I believe they should have health insurance and all the other benefits that hetrosexual couples have. I have many gay couples as friends and whether they are male or female, they will go to the earth’s end to help you and do anything they can if in need. I’ve never been prejudice against any race, gender, etc. If everyone could just let each other live without knocking each other, the world would definitely be a better place. Life is much better if you have an open heart.

    • truth

      the greatest trick the devil ever pulled is making you believe he does not exist. people turn from the bible because it doesn’t fit into their life choices.I’m not judging but God will

      • Michael H.

        You ARE judging, telling people they are following the so called devil and turning their backs on your so called god.

        YOUR god said “let he without sin cast the first stone”

        So STOP throwing stones hypocrite.

      • antigay

        where do you live?? I’ll throw one thru your window

      • confused

        god said “let he without sin cast the first stone”Strange you all know that quote but when it says “men should not lay with men” nobody quotes

      • Michael H.

        read my comment again “confused”. I’m holding him to his own standards.



    • Hubertus

      These people need psychiatric attention. This is the moral deterioration of

  • Jamie

    Man, all the money that this is gonna make for the city. Probably in the millions. Just imagine if the country would allow same sex marriages, and all the revenue it would create. We just have to get rid of the stupid religious nut jobs with their stuperstitions about a white man flying on cloud 9 eating grapes while cherubs play harps getting angry.

  • normal

    I’m sure Bloomberg saw a few up close.Not the first time he”did the honors

    • nathan

      Hey! That comment along with others is very inappropiate. And Mr. Bloomberg is a very good mayor.



      • nathan


      • normal

        you and Bloomberg no wonder you defend him

  • normal

    get back in the closet!!!!

  • John Boy

    How Sweet.

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