Couple From Alaska Marries On Valentine’s Day At Empire State Building

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Stephanie Figarelle wore a simple black suit and Lela McArthur wore a white silk gown as the two exchanged vows Tuesday at the Empire State Building.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Story

“It is my honor and my joy to pronounce you legally united in love and in life, in heart and soul as partners and family,” said the woman who officiated at the ceremony.

Their Valentine’s Day wedding was the first same-sex ceremony at the landmark.

Lela McArthur and Stephanie Figarelle's wedding ceremony at the Empire State Building - New York, NY - Feb 14, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Lela McArthur and Stephanie Figarelle's wedding ceremony at the Empire State Building - New York, NY - Feb 14, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

“People are realizing it’s not anything to fear or be offended by. I mean, I think it just takes a little bit of an open mind and some understanding and compassion for other human beings,” said Figarelle.

The vows included the memorable line, “Find shelter in my heart and home in my arm.”

The couple submitted a video to win this wedding worth tens of thousands of dollars.

“I feel safe and the prospect of a future with a family gives me strength every day,” Figarelle said in the video.

“I can’t thank you enough for opening up your loving heart to me. You’re my best friend, my strength, and one true love,” McArthur said in the video.

Did you get married on Valentine’s Day? Share your story in the comments section below!

  • NYGirl

    Doesn’t matter they will never be married by any kind of real religion or in the eyes of GOD for that matter. It’s just for benefits which is definitely the wrong reason to get married.

    • Michael H.

      Why do they need religion to be married? Are non-religious straight couples just “in it for the benefits” too? Marriage most definitely pre-dates the Judeo-Christian religions. Why should your religion get to dictate to the rest of the world what marriage is?

  • Liisa Demuerie

    They are all going to hell. Disgusting…

    • Michael H.

      Do the Mote and the Beam ring a bell? Know your own damn religion before you criticize others for not following it.

  • L.

    Mary: Could it be that Lela married Stephanie for more reasons than just the way she dresses? That’s there’s an actual PERSON in the suit, a person she loves? And I wear suits ALL the time… oddly enough, I’m not an “actual dude, either, nor am I trying to look like one. It’s just standard attire for women now. Working women, anyway, maybe not housewives stuck in the 50s. Geez Louise, how simple-minded some folks are. Congrats to the happy couple… you both look beautiful!!

  • Celia Milton

    And as credit goes, Colin Cowie deserves big clappy hands for putting together such a gorgeous, gorgeous event (one of four gorgeous events!

    Steph and Lela, welcome to the rest of your wonderful life!

  • Mary

    Don’t really get it. If the bride is “marrying” another gal, but the gal does everything to look like a dude, why didn’t the bride marry an actual dude? Bizarre.

    • Michael H.

      Simple. The bride did not fall in love with a man. She fell in love with, and wanted to marry this woman. Why is that so difficult to understand?

      • hily

        There’s nothing feminine in that woman. She’s a dude. Wants to be a dude. I suggest she does sex change operation. This way she can finally stop calling herself a lesbian and embarrass the entire community.

  • Joy Burke

    I’m thrilled to report that “the woman who officiated at the ceremony” is my dear friend and colleague Celia Milton, Celebrant. Give credit where credit is due.

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