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First Gay Marriages Held in New York

  • Peter Fedynsky

Kitty Lambert, right, and Cheryle Rudd cut their wedding cake at their reception before their wedding in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Kitty Lambert, right, and Cheryle Rudd cut their wedding cake at their reception before their wedding in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Homosexual couples in New York are being married for the first time after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law permitting same sex marriage in the state last month. But such marriages, though now legal in New York, remain controversial.

So many couples wanted to be married on Sunday, the first day of legal homosexual marriage in New York City, that local officials announced a lottery to determine eligibility.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, herself openly gay, witnessed the first two ceremonies. She says the same sex marriage law supports equality. “A law that says every family is as good as every other family; that every family is based on love, and is exactly the way God wants it to be," she said.

Margie Phelps minced no words to denounce same sex marriage as a crime against God. She and other Christians from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas came half way across the country to say marriage is defined by Holy Scripture. “The pattern is one man and one woman for life to have children who you raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord to bless the earth by procreation," she said.

David Schwartz, an Orthodox Jew, believes every human being has free choice and the power to rule over their desires. He considers homosexual desire to be wrong. “There’s one God in heaven and earth, and He has decreed for all mankind that they should limit their affections to relationships between a man and a woman in the context of marriage," he said.

Gella Soloman, also a Jew, rejects that definition of marriage, as well as the notion that marriage is reserved for the procreation of children. “Marriage is about creating community, and building homes together, and everybody is capable of doing that; everybody is capable of bringing love and unity to this world by loving each other, and that is all we are here to do," she said.

Douglas Robinson and his partner of 25 years, Michael Elsasser, were in the first group to be married in Manhattan. Robinson says the United States allows religious views to coexist with what he believes is a civil right of same-sex marriage. “You can have differing opinions. This is a tent, some people call it a mosaic of various different cultures and opinions and the like, so God bless America, and we are proud to be Americans," he said.

Margie Phelps believes God will punish New York City for permitting what she believes to be moral decay.

Meanwhile, Nevin Cohen and Daniel Hernandez showed off their marriage certificate. But they said they will not be going on a honeymoon. They say they need to be at work on Monday.