In western New York, two women, Kitty Lambert, 54, and Cheryle Rudd, 53, both grandmothers, became the first legally wed same-sex couple just after midnight. They were married at Niagara Falls’ State Park’s Luna Island, near the U.S.-Canadian border. The women, with five grown children between them from previous marriages, were joined by several hundred friends, family, supporters and even a group of tourists for the first same-sex marriage since New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the gay marriage law on June 24.
Winners of the lottery were notified late Thursday or Friday. By 8 a.m., scores had lined up outside courthouses. “The last thing we want is for couples to wait on line for hours and hours, only to walk away upset on what was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in explaining the reason for the lottery. He called it “the fairest way to determine who gets the chance to wed” on the first day that legalization of same-sex marriage took effect.
Tens of thousands of additional couples are expected to wed in New York state, which has more than 65,000 same-sex couples, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA, which studies gender-based law and social policy. Its estimate is based on numbers from the latest U.S. census.