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Lawsuit Filed To Overturn New York’s Gay Marriage Law

Protesters Determined To Pour Cold Water On Happy Couples' Big Day
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Francisco Fuertes and Patrick Simeone were married in North Hempstead, N.Y. (credit: CBS 2)

Francisco Fuertes and Patrick Simeone were married in North Hempstead, N.Y. (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One day after same-sex marriages starting taking place across New York, opponents of the gay marriage law sued to overturn it.

PHOTOS: Hundreds Of Same Sex Couples Tie The Knot

The lawsuit, filed Monday, claims the state Senate violated its own procedures and the state’s open meetings law when the bill was approved last month.

WCBS 880’s Steve Knight On The Story

The Empire State joined five other states and Washington, D.C. in allowing same-sex couples to wed, and people continued to say their “I do’s” in every corner of the state from Niagara Falls to Long Island on Monday.

“I’ve been thinking all morning about all of my friends who have come and gone who would have loved to have been here,” newlywed Milagros Diaz said.

Marshall Mason and Daniel Irvine has been together for 37 years. They lined up outside the City Clerk’s office in Lower Manhattan early Monday morning to get the state’s stamp of approval.

“We didn’t plan to be married today or we would have dressed differently,” Irvine told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

“It really means something to, you know, to look that person in the eyes and swear, legally, that I will love and cherish him to death do us part,” Mason added.

Retired Los Angeles cop Dan Leonard said he moved to New York 18 monthd ago, hoping to marry his partner, Rory McDonald.

“It’s beyond words. I’m impatient. Being a police officer, usually when we get sometthing done we get it done right away,” Leonard told Kramer.

New York City officials signed off on a record 659 marriage licenses on the day the Marriage Equality Act became law. By late afternoon Monday, another 331 had tied the knot. City Clerk Michael McSweeney said demand is so high everybody is working overtime.

“We have extended hours. We’ll be open two additional hours at the end of each day until Friday,” McSweeney said.

Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg took part, presiding over the marriage of two of his staffers at Gracie Mansion.

Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt tied the knot after being together for 14 years. Their daughters Maeve, 8, and Georgia, 6, were witnesses and ring bearers.

“John and Jonathan, usually when the three of us are together, we’re discussing the finer points of illegal guns or consumer fraud. I can’t tell you how nice this is for a change, and I can’t tell you how pleased I am that this day has finally arrived,” Bloomberg said. “Today in this city and in this state, history takes an important step forward by allowing every person to participate,” he added.

The couple exchanged rings, broke glasses in the Jewish tradition and had “eco-friendly” confetti thrown at them. Even though they’re a long-time committed couple with kids, they said the ceremony seemed to change things.

“Things are different. Everybody’s gathering around and telling you they love you and your family is getting to say things they were never able to say before because we could never do this before,” Mintz said.

“It’s just sheer happiness to see our kids standing there with us and this is just so much a day for them. They asked us so many times why we weren’t married like their friends’ parents were married,” Feinblatt added.

But not everyone is celebrating. Protesters marched across the state to demand that all people who live in New York State and not just the members of the Legislature be given a say on whether same-sex marriage should be legal.

By far the largest group marched to the United Nations on Sunday.

“Two percent of the population is dominating 98 percent of the people’s will. For a governor and a mayor and a city council to override the will of the people, they work for us and should have never decided for New Yorkers,” protester Desiree Bernstein said.

Demonstrations on both sides of the issue were held. On hand were members of the organization Connecting Rainbows, which supports gay marriage, and the Westboro Baptist Church, who are opposed. They showed up outside the Manhattan Clerk’s Office as well.

“They’re driving a stake into the heart of the most holy of covenants that God created and it’s going to bring on the doom of this nation,” said Ben Phelps of Topeka, Kan.

“It’s plainly against God’s law and every New Yorker knows it,” said Margie Phelps.

Should New York State have held a referendum on same-sex marriage? Sound off in our comments section below…

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