New York City officials began offering wedding-like ceremonies for same-sex couples this week, drawing as much criticism as praise from gay rights advocates who want nothing short of full marriage rights.
The ceremonies provide no new rights or advantages to same-sex couples — other than the opportunity to have a wedding in the city’s renovated marriage bureau, reports Reuters.
Some gay rights advocates criticized the move as doing nothing to move closer to granting gay couples full recognition in New York state.
“It’s a cheap ploy,” said Jeff Campagna, founder of The Power, a gay rights organization. “What they’re saying is pay $35, have a pretend marriage license … it’s a way to increase the coffers of the city, without increasing any benefits to the gay community.”
The new rules allowing the same-sex ceremonies took effect on Thursday, but only two same-sex couples showed up for a ceremony, according to a City Clerk spokesman.