Two women, both grandmothers, became New York state’s first legally wed same-sex couple early yesterday, with traditional honeymoon capital Niagara Falls as the backdrop for the historic event.
Kitty Lambert (54) and Cheryle Rudd (53) from Buffalo, New York, were married just after midnight Saturday at Niagara Falls’ State Park’s Luna Island, near the US-Canada border.
The women, with five grown children between them from previous marriages, were joined by several hundred friends, family, supporters and even a group of tourists for the first marriage of two members of the same sex since New York became the sixth, and largest, US state to legalise gay marriage.
Lambert, an art gallery manager, wore a blue satin dress she sewed herself, while Rudd, who works in a food processing plant, opted for a white tuxedo with tails. The grandmothers have been a couple for over a decade.
The civil ceremony, which followed a service conducted before midnight by Jewish, Baptist and Episcopal clergy members, was officiated by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
By the time Dyster reached “by the laws of the state of New York,” his words were drowned out by thunderous applause.
Lambert choked up during the religious service, answering unequivocally “yes, yes, yes!” when asked if she was making the choice of her own free will.
The women danced on stage after being married to Lady Gaga’s The Edge of Glory.
In honour of the first ceremony, the world-renowned water cascade was lit with rainbow-coloured lights in a colossal, shimmering homage to the multi-coloured gay pride flag. Tourists who happened upon the ceremony and the attendant crush of media were delighted.