From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/nyregion/across-new-york-hundreds-of-gay-couples-to-marry-on-sunday.html?hp
By THOMAS KAPLAN
Published: July 23, 2011
Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples across New York State began marrying on Sunday — the first taking their vows just after midnight — in the culmination of a long battle in the Legislature and a new milestone for gay rights advocates seeking to legalize same-sex marriage across the nation.
Against a cascade of rainbow-colored falls, and with cicadas humming in the background, Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd married at the first possible moment in Niagara Falls. After a bell tolled 12 times to ring in the new day, Ms. Lambert, 54, and Ms. Rudd, 53, held hands and kissed in front of more than 100 friends and family members.
In New York City, 823 couples signed up in advance to get marriage licenses on Sunday, and many of them were expected to marry in city clerk’s offices across the five boroughs. Officials from more than a dozen cities and towns from Buffalo to Brookhaven said they would open their offices to issue marriage licenses on Sunday, and more than 100 judges across the state have volunteered to officiate at the couples’ weddings on the spot.
“This is long overdue,” said Mayor Matthew T. Ryan of Binghamton, who planned to preside at the wedding of at least two local couples, and who invited same-sex couples from Pennsylvania to come to his city to be married. “It really is a great day for all of us who believe in inclusiveness and equal rights for everybody.”
The weddings — businesslike ceremonies in fluorescent-lighted city offices for some, lavish catered affairs for others — represent the end of a political campaign that lasted for years. On June 24, the State Senate voted 33 to 29 to approve same-sex marriage, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed it into law that night. But the law did not take effect for 30 days, which is why Sunday is the first day that clerk’s offices were permitted to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.