Marcus Chaljub and Freddy Zambrano
Hundreds of same-sex couples made their relationships officials by marrying in the state of New York on Sunday, the first day on which it was legal to do so.
Lesbian couple Kitty Lambert (54) and Cheryle Rudd (53) were said to be the first same-sex couple to marry in the state, exchanging vows just after midnight at Niagara Falls.
“We’re achieving that real American dream to be treated like everybody else and be protected under all those laws,” Lambert told ABC.
The falls were lit up in rainbow colours to commemorate the historic day for the LGBT community.
In New York City, the clerk’s office received hundreds of same-sex marriage license requests after the state passed a marriage equality bill last month.
Unable to cope with the demand, it was forced to implement a lottery system for couples eager to tie the knot.
Couples lined up outside marriage license offices in the city’s five boroughs with a record 823 weddings scheduled to take place.
Marcus Chaljub and Freddy Zambrano were the first same-sex couple to marry at the New York City Hall.
“I just started to cry and I couldn’t stop it at the point,” Chaljub told CNN after the ceremony. The couple, who met online, have been together for five years.
“It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for for years,” added Zambrano.
New York is the sixth US state to legalise same-sex marriage although these marriages are not recognised in most other states or under federal law.