Women were at the front of the line as legally sanctioned same-sex marriages were performed for the first time in New York State.

In Niagara Falls, once known as the Honeymoon Capital of the World, Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd of Buffalo were pronounced “legally married” by Mayor Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls moments after midnight. That was the second marriage ceremony for Lambert, 54, and Rudd, 53, over the weekend. On Saturday evening they were married in a religious ceremony, officiated by Baptist, Episcopal and Jewish clergy, to highlight that some religions sanction same-sex marriage, even while others strongly oppose it, The Buffalo News reported.

Rudd wore a white tuxedo and Lambert a blue dress for the civil ceremony performed on Goat Island, near the rushing waters of Niagara Falls. The falls were lighted in the colors of the rainbow, which has long been a symbol for gay rights.

“What an incredible night this was,” Lambert said, according to The Niagara Falls Gazette. “This was an amazing night. Everything was absolutely perfect.”

Rudd added, “It feels great: I’m married.”

Dyster told The Buffalo News that he was honored to have been asked to perform the ceremony and that he hoped it would usher in a new era for his city as a wedding and honeymoon destination.

In New York City, the first same-sex marriage was performed at 8:45 a.m., when City Clerk Michael McSweeney officiated at the wedding of Phyllis Siegel, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84, in one of three chapels at the City Clerk’s Office in Lower Manhattan. Kopelov, who arrived for the ceremony in a wheelchair, stood with the help of a walker for the ceremony, which was attended by State Sen. Tom Duane and his partner, Louis Webre, and Christine Quinn, speaker of the New York City Council, and her partner, Kim Catulo. After Siegel and Kopelov said their vows, McSweeney said: “Phyllis and Connie we wish for you both a love that makes you better people, that continues to give you joy and provide you with the energy to face the the responsibilities and the challenges of your lives together. So, now, as much as you Phyllis and you Connie have agreed to live in wedlock … and further declared this relationship by the joining of hands, therefore, by the authority invested in me, by the laws of the state of New York, I now pronounce you married,” according to a pool report.

After the ceremony, Siegel said: “I am breathless. I almost couldn’t breathe. I am happy. It’s what I wanted to do. It’s mind boggling. The fact that’s it’s happening to us — that we are finally legal and can do this like everyone else.”

By the end of the day, hundreds of same-sex couples were expected to have taken their vows. New York City held a lottery to distribute more than 800 slots available Sunday for both same-sex and opposite-sex weddings. New York is the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.

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