New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
on Wednesday announced his city's clerk's offices will open on
Sunday, July 24, to accommodate the first day a gay marriage law
takes effect in New York.
“This is a historic moment for New
York, a moment many couples have waited years and even decades to see
– and we are not going to make them wait one day longer than they
have to,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
Officials in only one other city,
Binghamton, which is located near the state's south-central border,
have said their offices would open on Sunday to accommodate the law's
start, The New York Times reported. Most cities plan to begin
offering marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on Monday, July
New York City Clerk Michael McSweeeney
said he expects large crowds, and added that his offices would remain
open two hours later than usual to accommodate the demand. Judges
have volunteered to perform ceremonies on Sunday, July 24, the
mayor's office said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the
marriage bill hours after it cleared its final hurdle, the Senate,
last month, making the Empire State the sixth – and most populous –
state to legalize gay marriage.