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NYC sets lottery for first same-sex weddings

Associated Press / July 20, 2011

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NEW YORK - New York City will hold a lottery for couples who want to get married on the first day that same-sex marriage will be legal in the state, the mayor announced yesterday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 764 couples will be selected to get married on Sunday in the city clerk’s five borough offices. Couples can register for the lottery online or by calling 311 in the 48 hours beginning at noon yesterday, and winners will be notified by Friday at noon.

Officials said they were trying to keep the day special for couples and prevent those seeking wedded bliss from waiting for hours only to be turned away.

“We want to make sure that Sunday is not like a trip to motor vehicles,’’ said Christine Quinn, City Council speaker.

For couples who do not land a spot through the lottery, the city clerk’s office will continue expanded operations next week, bringing in extra judges and staff and staying open two extra hours each day to handle the anticipated demand.

Starting Monday, those weddings will be performed first-come, first-served, but Bloomberg said he doesn’t expect people to be camping out overnight to get married.

Officials said 2,661 couples have already preregistered for marriage licenses online.

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