New York City —
A milestone in LGBT history was marked Sunday as the clock struck midnight and hundreds of gay and lesbian couples began to marry in New York State, the first day the gay marriage law went into effect.
Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd were among the first couples to be married as they were joined by more than 100 friends and family members in Niagara Falls, which was illuminated in rainbow-colored lighting, reported
The Buffalo News
. Lambert, 54, and Rudd, 53, were married just after midnight during a religious ceremony overseen by clergy from three different faiths.
Niagara Falls tourism officials hope gay marriage will mean a rebirth for the once popular honeymoon destination in Western New York.
In New York City, the New York Times reported that 484 couples got married on Sunday in city clerk's offices throughout the five boroughs.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officiated at the wedding of two senior City Hall officials, Jonathan Mintz and John Feinblatt. Their young daughters, Georgia and Maeve, attended the ceremony with delight.
Gay marriage is also coming to the production of Tony Award-winning Avenue Q
as puppet characters Rod and Ricky got hitched
before the show's Sunday matinee.
New York made history on June 24 as the State Senate voted to legalize gay marriage, making the Empire State the sixth, and by far the most populous, where marriage equality is extended to all people regardless of sexual orientation.
A majority of New Yorkers support the new law, according to a
Quinnipiac University poll
released just after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation into law.
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and Washington, D.C. have legalized gay marriage.