Gay Couples Will Soon Be Able to Have a NYC Civil Ceremony

Gay and lesbian New York residents who decide to register domestic partnerships with the city can soon enjoy a marriage-like ceremony courtesy of City Hall, the New York Daily News reported.

Right now, gay couples receive nothing more than a slip of paper, signifying their registration, the paper noted.

“Sounds like a small step in the right direction,” Joseph Hagelmann, president of the Stonewall Democratic Club in Manhattan, said. “But we’re not going to be happy until we have full marriage equality.”


More and More Same Sex Couples Want to Get Married

Gay couples composed 30% of the 5,534 couples who registered as domestic partners with the city last year, according to the News.

New York City has been registering domestic partners for seventeen years. Any New York gay couple will be able to have a NYC civil ceremony at any of the city clerk’s five borough offices, including the recently $12 million Manhattan marriage office at 141 Worth St.

City Councilmember James Van Bramer believes the change, which goes into effect June 3, “is a good gesture,” after last year’s rejection of a gay marriage law by the State Senate.

“Not everyone is going to want a ceremony, but if they do they should be able to have it,” Van Bramer told the News.

In addition to the new ceremony, gay couples will continue to receive tenancy rights for city housing, spouse-like confidentiality privileges, and, if a member of the couple works for the city, the benefits enjoyed by married partners, according to the News.