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City to Hold Lottery for First Day of Same-Sex Weddings

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gay Marriage (Getty Images)

New York City will hold a lottery for couples who want to get married on Sunday — the first day same-sex marriage will be legal, the mayor said Tuesday.

City officials say they're so inundated by marriage requests that they're holding a lottery for couples.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said more than 760 couples will be selected to get married on Sunday in the city's clerk's five borough offices.

Couples can register online or by calling 311 beginning noon Tuesday. Winners will be notified Friday at noon.

"We want to make sure that Sunday is not like a trip to motor vehicles," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

There are 2,661 couples who have preregistered for marriage licenses online and officials estimate half of them wish to be married on Sunday. Overall, officials expect 2,500 couples to enter the lottery.

The law requires that couples wait 24 hours after they get a marriage license before they can marry, but on Sunday, volunteer judges will be on hand to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis, and will perform ceremonies on the spot.

City Clerk Michael McSweeney said couples should expect the process to take about an hour, and won't be given a specific time to arrive.

And scalpers need not apply. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city will sure winners cannot transfer a ticket to someone else.

"If you do not want to get married on Sunday, either a same-sex or an opposite-sex couple, do not enter the lottery," said Bloomberg at Tuesday’s announcement in City Hall. "Because you could win and then you’re taking away a place from somebody else who could come."

With the Associated Press

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