Same-Sex Marriage Lottery in NYC Changed

NEW YORK - All 823 gay couples who entered Mayor Bloomberg’s marriage lottery will be able wed on July 24, the first day the New York gay marriage law takes effect.

The City of New York originally announced they would only wed 764 couples earlier this week to prevent clerks from dealing with an overwhelming amount of work, but in a last minute decision, officials changed their minds stating that all 823 couples who registered before the lotteries noon deadline will be accommodated.

"This Sunday all New Yorkers will be winners when we make history and move human rights forward in all five boroughs," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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But gay and lesbian couples looking to marry this Sunday won't be doing so without opposition.

Gay marriage opponents are planning rallies throughout New York on Sunday to protest the new marriage law.

National Organization for Marriage is organizing the "Stand Up and be Heard Let the People Vote" rallies to take place in Manhattan, Albany, Buffalo and Rochester. The group, which expects a crowd of thousands, is pushing for a state referendum that would allow New Yorkers to vote on gay marriage.

Bronx Senator Ruben Diaz, the lone Democrat to vote against the gay marriage bill, also plans to attend the Manhattan protest, which will be held in front of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

Prior to Friday's announcement, Binghamton Mayor Matthew T. Ryan had made preparations to accommodate gay couples who wanted to marry on July 24 but did not make the lottery.

"If you wanted to get married this Sunday, the first day of marriage equality in New York State, but were not among the 764 who were issued marriage licenses in New York City, I’d like to invite you to consider getting married here in Binghamton, NY," said Ryan in an open letter.

"The State of New York now provides for marriage equality, and no community has welcomed this important change more than ours."

But due to this latest announcement by New York City officials, residents of the City who participated in the lottery won’t have to make that trip.

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