At Queens Borough Hall yesterday morning, a city hall volunteer strode across an almost empty plaza with phone in hand to show a colleague a photo of a raucous crowd. "Manhattan!" he said, as he shook his head in disbelief and laughed. The scene at Kew Gardens on Sunday, the first day of gay marriage in New York State, was considerably calmer. After an early rush, few couples had to stand in line outside for more than several minutes before being ushered in to start paperwork.
|Desiree Bussell (in blue plaid) and Katrice Shelton (holding flowers) wed at Queens Borough Hall on Sunday.|
In anticipation of Sunday, the borough had made 112 slots available for full marriages. 91 couples had applied to be married in Queens today through the lottery, and the remaining spots were opened up to other applicants. But business was slower than expected: By the end of the day, the city gave out 89 licenses and conducted 66 marriages in Queens, including a few walk-ins. Most couples seemed grateful for the quiet, no-drama pace at the Hall -- they had plans to celebrate all day with family.More »