NIAGARA FALLS — New York State ushered in same-sex marriage at 12:01 a.m. with the wedding of a Buffalo couple, punctuating the end of a long fight for gay rights activists.
Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd were wed in Niagara Falls just after midnight.
“By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you legally married,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, who performed the ceremony.
After exchanging rings and sending out wishes to states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, the couple danced in the grass near the falls.
Hundreds began gathering on Goat Island earlier in the night, waiting for the couple to become the first gay couple to legally marry in New York State following this morning’s enactment of the Marriage Equality Act, signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last month.
“We’re so proud of everybody who crawled up this hill with us,” a teary-eyed Lambert, 54, said Saturday evening. “This wasn’t done with just the two of us. Every single person here played a part in getting this law passed.”