Same-sex couples taking advantage of both the Town of North Hempstead and Brookhaven’s one-day offer to open their clerk offices on Sunday are less than 24 hours way from receiving marriage licenses, and for some, getting married.
When the clock strikes midnight Sunday—the same day New York State’s gay marriage law goes into effect—North Hempstead will host Long Island’s first same-sex wedding at the park across the street from town hall, officials said.
North Hempstead Clerk Leslie Gross also plans to offer marriage licenses from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
In both town halls judges will be on hand to issue waivers for couples who want to tie the knot on Sunday. Nine couple’s have already registered to get married in Brookhaven, with several soon-to-be spouses requesting Brookhaven Clerk Patricia Eddington marry them. Thirty-six couples are registered to receive marriage licenses, the clerk’s office said.
“I can now perform this ceremony for these people who have been waiting and discriminated against for so many years,” Eddington told the Press last week. “Separate is not equal…and I think everybody should be treated equally.”
The Brookhaven Town Clerk’s Office will also have added security Sunday due to expected protesters.
Last month, the state senate approved the controversial same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 33-29, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill shortly after, allowing same-sex couples to get married after a 30-day moratorium.
Preparations for gay weddings started soon after the bill was signed. Less than a week after legislation passed, Carlyle on the Green announced they will hold free weddings for same-sex couples on July 26.
“They’re going to have the opportunity of a lifetime to be here on Carlyle and have a wedding that won’t hurt their pocket books,” David Kilmnick, CEO of the GLBT Community Center in Bay Shore said last month.
Following the Town of North Hempstead’s announcement, The Inn at New Hyde Park said they will offer a free ceremony and reception for couples who want to get married on Monday, July 25. Couples can register by calling the venue or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.