Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples have become the first to tie the knot under a New York state law that has been hailed as a milestone toward legalising gay marriage nationwide.
Yolanda Potasinski, aged 55 years, said that they will be no more treated as the second-class citizens of New York and exchanged his vows in Manhattan on the first day of the law legalising same-sex marriage along with his partner Nancy Mertzel, a 48 year-old lawyer.
She admitted the fact that there is still work to do in the rest of the country, as both the couples who lived together for 18 years were present along with other couples in New York.
The official reports suggests that, it creates a record wherein 659 couples got married in ceremonies on Sunday and that others who received licenses will be wed in the coming weeks.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said "It was a historic day in our society, and we couldn't be proud that on the first day that everyone in New York city could have their love affirmed in the eyes of the law, and we were able to serve everyone".
First in line was a senior couple named Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelov, who cried and waved with joy after their wedding ceremony. New York is the sixth US state to legalise the same-sex marriage.
Niagara falls hosted the first marriage just after midnight as the famous cascades lit up with the rainbow colours of the gay pride movement.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said in a statement that today the doors of marriage equality swing open in New York. It is no surprise a flood of same-sex couples is expected to flow through.
Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group backing same-sex rights noted that the new law means the couples will receive a host of rights and responsibilities afforded to hetrosexual marriages, including health-care decision making for an incapacitated spouse, property rights and inheritance rights.
But opposite the registry office, there was only a small crowd of about a dozen people who booed the happy couples. No major disturbances were reported, however.