Several gay couples married at
midnight, the earliest moment possible as New York's gay marriage law
took effect on Sunday, The New York Times reported.
After more than a decade together, gay
rights activists Kitty Lambert, 54, and Cheryle Rudd, 53, married in
a ceremony at Niagara Falls.
The women, who together have 5 children
and 12 grandchildren, married surrounded by roughly 100 close friends
and family, and with a rainbow-lit Niagara Falls as a backdrop.
Other cities, including Hudson, Albany
and Long Island, also hosted midnight weddings.
Lambert and Rudd's ceremony was
attended by several of the state lawmakers who approved the law last
month and officiated over by Mayor Paul Dyster.
The women stood at the foot of the
Falls, which were lit, for the first time, in the six colors that
symbolize gay pride.
Meanwhile, two men were the first to
marry in Long Island.
Frank Fuertes and Patrick Simeone tied
the knot in a small ceremony with a handful of friends. The couple,
together nearly 23 years, married in Quebec three years earlier.
At the state capital, Albany Mayor
Jerry Jennings also married couples at the earliest possible moment
on Sunday, as New York became the largest state to legalize marriage
In New York City, where Mayor Michael
Bloomberg is expected to officiate over the wedding of two top
staffers, marriage bureaus will host a marathon series of
newlyweds will face protesters – and in some cases counter
protesters – on their big day.