Love Finds a Way: Every Couple Wins in City's Gay Marriage Lottery

After initially limiting the number of wedding spots on Sunday in anticipation of high turnout Sunday — the first day gay marriage is legal in New York — the Bloomberg administration is now saying it will accommodate everyone who registered in time.

There are 823 couples that registered in the lottery to get a marriage license that day — about half as many registrants as the city thought would sign up but still higher than the number officials estimated the city's five marriage bureaus could process in one day.

An overwhelming number of those couples — 533 — asked for an appointment at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. But that location was supposed to handle 400 licenses that day.

City officials are offering a compromise: they'll increase the quota for Manhattan to 459 couples by keeping the doors open as late as necessary. And then offer the 74 couples that don't win spaces a slot at one of the marriage bureaus in the outer boroughs, since those locations were under subscribed.

Here are the number of couples who made the other boroughs their first choice:

  • Brooklyn: 109 for 112 spots.
  • Queens: 91 for 112.
  • The Bronx: 52 for 98.
  • Staten Island: 38 for 42.

Couples are supposed to show up in the morning — as early as 8:30 a.m.

Heterosexual couples were also allowed to take part in the lottery -- but if you haven't already done it, it's too late. The deadline was noon Thursday, and winners are already being notified.