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NY Same-Sex Marriage: Midnight Ceremonies in Albany

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings signs documents for a same-sex couple during midnight hour marriages at City Hall.

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – Last month, New York became the sixth and largest state to sanction same-sex unions - the weddings officially began over the weekend ... Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was at Albany City Hall as legal gay marriage was officially ushered in.

A landmark moment for gay rights in New York, at the stroke of midnight, as Mayor Jerry Jennings fulfilled a vow he made publicly on June 25th, the day after the NYS legislature passed the Marriage Equality Act when he stated that he wanted to be among the first in the state to perform a same-sex union. Dale Getto and Barbara Laven tied the knot at 12 o'clock in the Mayor's office. Jennings proclaimed the occasion "historic" - Don Grandchamp and David Janulis from Glenmont have been together 17 years - Janulis says their Midnight Union was long awaited, and within they hour, they were officially wed, by Judge Joseph Teresi.

What was unthinkable decades ago and until recently only a dream for same-sex couples is now reality - and observers regard it as a "feather in the cap' of Governor Andrew Cuomo, something that could propel his political career. Activists hope the Empire State's same-sex marriage law will have nationwide impact - that it will impress lawmakers throughout the land, all the way to President Barack Obama. Many gay couples see 'same-sex marriage" taking its rightful place in mainstream American culture - with the power to enhance the political aspirations and careers of those who support it. Gay marriage advocates now say they will push for Federal legislation that would require ALL states to recognize same-sex unions.