Hundreds of gay couples tied the knot in New York on Sunday, the first day same-sex marriages were allowed to take place in the state.
Niagara Falls, where so many couples have gotten married over the years, hosted the first same-sex wedding just after midnight. The first couple on line at the city clerk's office to get married in New York City was 76-year-old Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelov, 84 (left).
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said in a statement:
"Today the doors of marriage equality swing open in New York. It's no surprise a flood of same-sex couples is expected to flow through. Until you have walked in the shoes of someone who has been denied this fundamental freedom -- a rite that bonds us a people -- it is hard to comprehend just how profoundly moving this moment is. Today is a day to rejoice and celebrate."
However not everybody was rejoicing. The anti-gay marriage National Organization for Marriage held rallies in several cities. NPR reports that thousands of people turned out, waving such signs as "Excommunicate (NY Governor Andrew) Cuomo" and "God cannot be mocked."
"I'm here for God's sake," said protestor Steve Rosner. "To sanctify same-sex marriage is an abomination. It's beyond belief."
The presence of the protestors did not dampen the mood for those who have waited their entire adult lives to walk down the aisle.
"Today our marriage license, our wedding, means that New York City recognizes us as people and a legal couple," said groom Daniel Hernandez.