Last month, New York became the largest and most recent state to legalize gay marriage and this Sunday, July 24, the first such weddings took place across the state. As same-sex couples celebrated from Niagara Falls to Long Island, opponents of gay marriage vowed to fight the new law, which was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo following a prolonged battle in the state legislature. Here, a brief stats-based guide to the day:
Number of states now allowing gay marriage: New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Washington D.C. also allows same-sex marriages. Even though Maryland and Rhode Island have not legalized such unions, they recognize gay marriages performed out-of-state.
Age of newlywed Connie Kopelov, now married to Phyllis Siegel, 76, the first same-sex couple to be wed on Sunday in New York City
Number of years Kopelov and Siegel have been together. "Twenty-three years, and we're looking for 23 more," says Siegel, as quoted by Tina Susman of the Los Angeles Times.
Number of marrriage licenses issued by New York City on Sunday, July 24, according to a news release from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office
Number of couples, both gay and straight, who were wed in New York City on July 24. "Today, surrounded by family and friends, you are making history," says Mayor Bloomberg, as quoted in Bloomberg News.
Number of couples who will wed in New York's first group gay wedding, at a site overlooking Niagara Falls on Monday, July 25. "Officials hope the ceremony will nudge the careworn city perched on one of the world's great natural wonders toward recapturing its storied identity as the world's 'Honeymoon Capital.'"
About 60 percent
Number of Fortune 500 companies currently offering same-sex work benefits, including health coverage, to their employees. "Treating same-sex partners and their families equally with other married couples is today as natural for corporate leaders as ending discrimination on race or ethnicity," says Bob Witeck at CNN.
Amount of cash New York state is expected to haul in over the next three years as a result of the legalization of gay marriage, according to the Empire State Development Corp. "The city [of New York] hopes to be among the biggest benefactors of the law and all the hotel rooms, flowers, dinners out, breakfasts in, and cakes that go with it," says Carolyn Thompson of the Associated Press.
Discount offered by a New York City wedding videographer who charged gay couples $30 to film their vows (straight couples had to cough up $50). "It’s reverse discrimination," she says.
Number of same-sex couples married in New York City on Sunday who came from other states, "mostly those, like California and Alabama, where same-sex marriage is not legal," says Michael Barbaro in The New York Times.
Peak daytime temperature reached in New York City as couples stood in a line outside the marriage bureau in Manhattan. "As they waited in sweltering heat, many of the couples passed the time singing and getting to know one another," says Maria Paula Neira of NTN24 News.
Number of state cities hosting rallies against gay marriage, including New York City, Albany, Buffalo and Rochester. "Supporters of traditional marriage say that the issue should be decided by the 20 million people in New York," says Vincent Funaro in the Christian Post.
Number of Democratic state legislators who voted against gay marriage. "We're going to show them next week that everything they did today was illegal," says Sen. Ruben Diaz of the Bronx, at an anti-gay marriage rally on Sunday. "Today we start the battle! Today we start the war!"