Hundreds of couples who registered for the New York City marriage lottery will be able to tie the knot Sunday, the first day the state will allow gay marriage, the city announced.
Overwhelmed by marriage requests since July 5 — 1,728 of the 2,661 couples who registered are gay — the city had originally decided to randomly award 764 couples marriage spots and hold a lottery to fill them.
At the close of entries on Thursday, 823 couples had registered for the lottery, and the city decided to satisfy everyone. “We cannot say 100 percent, but the vast majority are homosexuals,” a city spokesman told AFP.
Manhattan will celebrate the largest number of unions — 459 in total — while Brooklyn and Queens each have 112 ceremonies planned, the Bronx will tally 98 and Staten Island is expected to recognize 42 marriages.
Couples were advised to arrive in the morning and no later than 3:45 pm (1945 GMT) on Sunday.
It will mark a unique day in the Big Apple’s history. The city’s last marriage records were 621 on Valentine’s Day (February 14) 2003 and 610 unions on August 8, 2008, because of the popularity of the date 08/08/08.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will officiate one of the Sunday marriages at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence, between two male colleagues.
On June 24, the state of New York became the sixth US state, and the most populous to legalize gay marriage. New York, the largest city in the United States, has eight million residents.