The demand among gay couples in New York City to get married on Sunday, July 24 the first day that gay marriage becomes legal is so overwhelming that the city has been forced to create a lottery for the occasion, Mayor Bloomberg announced today. “We’ve done our homework," Bloomberg said. "And it’s clear that the number of couples who want to marry on Sunday is more than the City Clerk’s offices could possibly handle. And the last thing we want is for couples to wait on line for hours and hours, only to walk away upset on what was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives." The details, according to an official press release:
The lottery will guarantee access to one of the City Clerk’s five offices for 764 couples - opposite sex or same sex - on July 24th. Couples wishing to marry on July 24th must register for the lottery by going to the City Clerk’s website at www.nyc.gov or by calling 311. The lottery will open for entries at noon on July 19th and will close to entries at noon on July 21st. There is no advantage to registering quickly for the lottery - all applicants who register in time will have an equal opportunity to be randomly selected. There will be a separate lottery for each of the City Clerk’s five borough offices and lottery applicants must specify one - and only one - office where they wish to marry. Winners of the lottery will be notified via e-mail or phone on Friday, July 22nd by noon.
Notice that both gay couples and straight couples are eligible for the lottery. We understand the rationale behind this decision gay couples get equal treatment now, after all, not preferential treatment. The city doesn't want to be seen as using its resources to favor any group over another. And, in fact, many heterosexual couples have expressed interest in taking advantage of the rare Sunday opening at the city clerk's offices:
In advance of July 24th, the City invited same sex couples to begin the marriage license application process online starting on July 5th. This allowed the City to collect data to gauge the number of couples possibly interested in marrying during the first days of marriage equality. As of this morning, the City Clerk’s Office had received 2,661 online applications since July 5th, of which the Clerk has estimated that 1,728 are from same-sex couples.
According to these figures, nearly 1,000 straight couples want to get married or pick up a marriage license on July 24. In light of the need for a lottery, we say to those couples, from one heterosexual to another: Pick another day. Any day. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday would be fine. If that doesn't work out, try Thursday. Friday is another possibility.
Hear this, straight people: Maybe it's convenient for you to get married over the weekend, or maybe you just like the novelty factor of tying the knot on a historic day. But the opportunity means a hell of a lot more for gay couples. Every spot in the lottery occupied by one of you means a gay couple misses out on an experience with much deeper personal significance. This is no way to act, straight people. Sunday is supposed to be a beautiful day. Why not go enjoy some outdoor straight-people activities, like attending a baseball game, or drinking an unnecessary amount of beer, perhaps while attending a baseball game. Or stay cool with some popular indoor straight-people pastimes, like watching the new Transformers movie while wearing pleated pants.
Whatever you do, don't get married. Doing so would be selfish, and heartless. In short, it would be kind of a dick move. And the only dicks at the city clerk's offices on Sunday should be the ones in the pants of the gay men who are finally allowed to get married, for the first time ever.