Today Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and City Clerk Michael McSweeney announced that New York City will conduct a public lottery for couples wishing to marry on July 24. Sunday, July 24, will be the first day that loving and committed same-sex couples can get married in the Empire State.
The lottery is being conducted in response to the high demand for marriage services this Sunday. As of the time of the announcement, the City Clerk's Office had received 2,661 online applications since July 5, and the Clerk has estimated that 1,728 are from same-sex couples.
Couples wishing to marry, both opposite-sex and same-sex, on July 24 must register for the lottery by going to the City Clerk's website or by calling 311. The lottery has been open since noon today and will remain open until noon on Thursday, July 21. All couples who register within this time period have an equal chance at being chosen, as the lottery will be randomly selected. According to the lottery rules, winning couples will be "notified promptly by e-mail and/or phone no later than Noon on Friday, July 22."
Each borough's City Clerk's Office will hold its own lottery, and couples registering must choose one -and only one- office where they'd like to be married. The lottery slots, of which there are a total of 764, are available by borough, as follows:
- 400 Manhattan City Clerk's Office
- 112 Brooklyn City Clerk's Office
- 112 Queens City Clerk's Office
- 98 Bronx City Clerk's Office
- 42 Staten Island City Clerk's Office
The numbers listed above for each borough are proportional to the number of marriages performed at the City Clerk's offices on an average day. Winning couples are guaranteed marriage services in their chosen borough on July 24.
During the announcement today, Mayor Bloomberg said, "We've done our homework, and it's clear that the number of couples who want to marry on Sunday is more than the City Clerk's offices could possibly handle. And the last thing we want is for couples to wait on line for hours and hours, only to walk away upset on what was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives."
Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said, "This efficient and effective process for managing the first day of marriage equality in the five boroughs will maximize the excitement and dignity for all. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, City Clerk McSweeney, and everyone on their teams for working so hard to prepare for this momentous occasion. We wish everyone luck in this lottery, and more importantly we wish everyone a lucky, healthy, happy marriage."
For complete rules and instructions for the lottery and for the lottery itself, please visit the City Clerk's website. Also, if you and your loved one plan to wed on July 24 or later this year and are open to sharing your love story/wedding plans with the media, GLAAD really wants to hear from you!
For all the latest information on marriage in New York, go to: www.glaad.org/ny4m.