Gay couples now to marry in NYC starting Sunday, July 24th

By Samantha Peltz, Freedom to Marry's New Media Intern 

Gay couples wishing to get married in New York City will no longer have to wait until Monday, July 25th to get married.  In an unprecedented move, the city has decided to open its city clerk’s office on Sunday, July 24th.  The law takes effect 30 days after its June 24th passage, but traditionally, the city’s offices remain closed on Sundays.  However Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement that “This is a historic moment for New York…a moment many couples have waited years and even decades to see, and we are not going to make them wait one day longer than they have to.” 

New York City judges volunteered to waive the 24-hour period that couples traditionally have to wait between receipt of their license and the marriage ceremony.  Judges in all five boroughs will be on hand to officiate marriages.  City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn chimed in saying, “Opening on the first day we could, it makes it a special and really memorable moment for those couples and also for our city.”

Before this decision, New Yorkers would have had to drive 140 miles northwest to Binghamton to get married on the 24th.  Binghamton was the first to announce they would open their offices on Sunday, with the hopes of avoiding the expected rush the next day.  The Syracuse offices will also be open.  Woodstock and New Paltz officials both issued statements saying that if there is enough interest, they too would open their doors on Sunday.  Officials in every municipality are expecting long lines as couples rush to take advantage of the new laws, but say they are equipped to handle the task.

New York City offices will be open from 8:30 am to 4:30 on Sunday, July 24th, and will remain open for two extra hours for the next give days.  Couples seeking to get married can submit an application online to the Office of the City Clerk, however they must appear in person and together to complete the application and get married.  Out-of-state couples can also get married in New York and apply using the same process.