New York Gay Marriage Lottery - 764 Couples To Marry On Sunday. Due to the state of New Yorks new law signed on June 24th by Governor Cuomo to allow same sex marriage, the city has had an influx of applicants that want to be married on the first day the new law will be in place. City officials said Tuesday that 764 couples were expected to be married Sunday, more than the city’s previous single-day high of 621 on Valentine’s Day in 2003 and 610 marriages on August 8, 2008.
“We’ve done our homework and it’s clear that the number of couples who want to marry Sunday is more than the City Clerk’s offices could possibly handle,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference in explaining the lottery. Bloomberg and other city officials said that 2,661 online applications had been made since July 5, of which 1,728 were same-sex couples benefiting from New York State’s Marriage Equality Act. Couples can register in the lottery between noon Tuesday and noon on July 21 if they want to marry at any of the five city clerk’s offices Sunday. Winners will be selected randomly.
Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, acknowledged that some couples would be disappointed by the city’s decision to hold a lottery. Still, she said, “We want to make sure that Sunday is not like a trip to Motor Vehicles.” As a consolation, Ms. Quinn said, the city would send certificates to applicants in the lottery to prove their participation.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who sponsored the bill and signed it into law, said that “New York has finally torn down the barrier that has prevented same-sex couples from exercising the freedom to marry and from receiving the fundamental protections that so many couples and families take for granted.” He also said that “With the world watching, the Legislature, by a bipartisan vote, has said that all New Yorkers are equal under the law.” At least two town clerks in the state, citing religious objections, have resigned to avoid being forced to sign licenses for gay and lesbian couples.By: Pat Prescott
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