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The Club

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Bill Slimback and Bob Sullivan (left); Marcia Kadish and Tanya McCloskey (right).  

New York’s marriage-equality law goes into effect July 25; the mayor’s office is still sorting out how it will handle the nuptial deluge, but expect crowds, long lines, midnight activity at municipal buildings, and one lucky couple joining the ranks of these pairs, the first known same-sex partners to marry in their respective states.

Massachusetts
Tanya Mccloskey and Marcia Kadish
May 17, 2004 / Cambridge
McCloskey and Kadish, partners for eighteen years, had received their marriage license after waiting in line for five hours the night before on the lawn of Cambridge’s City Hall. The Washington Post reported seeing Kadish jumping up and down in excitement after the ceremony.

Iowa
Tim Mcquillan and Sean Fritz
August 31, 2007 / Des Moines
Iowa State University students Fritz and ­McQuillan were one of about twenty same-sex couples that applied on the day Polk County judge Robert Hanson briefly made same-sex marriage legal, but the only to actually wed—doing so on a Unitarian minister’s lawn—in the four hours before Hanson suspended his own ruling.

Vermont
Bill Slimback and Bob Sullivan
September 1, 2009 / Duxbury
Slimback—a Teamster—and Sullivan drove from Whitehall, New York, over the state line for a ceremony performed at 12:01 a.m. at the Moose Meadow Lodge. Writes Sullivan in an e-mail: “It gets old being the odd man out everywhere you go and always being ‘that guy.’ But this was one of the most natural and normal days of my life.”

Connecticut
Beth Bye and Tracey Wilson
November 12, 2009 / West Hartford
“Initially, we thought it was a formality,” says Bye, a state senator. “But when we got there, we were so excited to be married in the eyes of the town and state. The vows were so meaningful. When he [then–state senator Jonathan Harris, the officiant] said, ‘By the power granted to me by the state of Connecticut,’ it just hit us like a ton of bricks.”

New Hampshire
Donna Swartwout and Linda Murphy
January 1, 2010 / Concord
Says Murphy: “It took place under a blue moon on New Year’s Eve—we said vows, there was Champagne and music for a first dance. We were one of twelve couples that night; we did it on the steps of the capitol, and it was really cold. I think if you had asked either of us if we’d be married, we’d say, ‘Not in my lifetime!’ but now when people ask, we get to say yes!”

District of Columbia
Sinjoyla Townsend and Angelisa Young
March 9, 2010 / Washington, D.C.
Townsend and Young, who’d already held a 2005 commitment ceremony in Maryland, had their official wedding at the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign. Appropriately, the two first met in a constitutional-law class at the University of the District of Columbia graduate school.

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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