New York celebrates one year of marriage equality

On July 24, 2011, throngs of people gathered outside New York City Hall to celebrate the first day of marriage equality in New York State. Couples dressed up in suits and gowns, excited to be able to marry, while family, friends, and others came to show their support for marriage equality. In the year since, thousands of gay and lesbian couples have married throughout New York, though the exact number is not clear. New York City Clerk Michael McSweeney is planning to release those numbers this week to coincide with the one year anniversary of marriage equality.

Before the passage of marriage equality, the New York Senate's independent Democratic conference estimated that allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry would be a boon to revenue and economic activity, particularly in the first three years. Although it is not yet clear if these estimates will prove to be true, the impact of marriage equality goes far beyond economic factors. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who married her longtime partner in May, says that she has felt more welcome and accepted than she ever expected, even among people who may not support marriage equality.

GLAAD staff was on the ground at City Hall last year, offering media training and assistance to the more than 400 couples who came to get married. Among the couples GLAAD worked with were:

Meredith Soffrin and Tiffany Peckosh, a musician and a social worker, who were profiled in New York Magazine.

Alan Miles and Drew Glick, who were among several couples profiled in a USA Today article about marriage equality in New York State. Miles and Glick had been together for 16 years and engaged for seven before marrying on July 24, 2011.

Carmen Hernandez-DeArmas and Doris DeArmas-Hernandez made history just a month after marriage equality became legal in New York as the first gay or lesbian couple to be married in the Bronx. Hernandez-DeArmas has spent 30 years working with LGBT youth and the couple is raising an 11-year-old daughter.

Stephen Williams and Joey Pressley were married within a week of marriage equality becoming legal in New York. Former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins officiated the ceremony, which took place at a Manhattan restaurant. The couple’s wedding was announced in the New York Times.

GLAAD wishes continued happiness for all the couples who married on July 24 of last year and who have married since.