Two elderly Jewish women were the first same-sex couple to marry in New York City.
Phyllis Siegel, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85, were married in Lower Manhattan at 9:02 a.m. Sunday in a ceremony witnessed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and officiated by City Clerk Michael McSweeny. Quinn is the first openly gay speaker of the New York City Council.
Siegel and Kopelov, who have been together for 23 years, reportedly were among 659 couples—gay and straight—who received marriage licenses on Sunday and 484 who held marriage ceremonies.
“It was just so amazing,” Siegel told the New York Post. “It’s the only way I can describe it. I lost my breath and a few tears.”
The couples married exactly one month after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a measure enacted by the State Legislature allowing same-sex couples to marry.
Also Sunday in New York City, Gregory Levin, 32, and Shane Serkiz, 33, of the Astoria section of Queens, who have been engaged since 1999, were the first same-sex couple married in that borough.
And at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s home in New York, Mayor Mike Bloomberg officiated at a wedding for city Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and mayoral policy adviser John Feinblatt. After the vows, actor Joel Grey sang “Married” from the musical “Cabaret.” Bloomberg then introduced the traditional breaking of the glass, which the couple crushed underfoot.