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Important information for same-sex couples in New York

Same-sex marriage has been recognized in New York since 2011. Governor Cuomo signed New York’s Marriage Equality Act, which gave same-sex couples the right to marry legally. New York has always been known for its diversity and openness and the city clerk offices have been performing ceremonies for same-sex couples ever since gay and lesbian marriage was legalized four years ago.

However, there are several steps that a same-sex couple needs to complete before the marriage can occur. The same-sex partners need to submit a marriage license application with the city clerk through City Clerk Online. A confirmation number will be given once the application is submitted online. The same-sex couple is required to take the number to the clerk’s office.

After the online application has been submitted, the applicants need to appear at the city clerk’s office. If the same-sex couple has no access to a computer at home, the application can be completed in person at the city clerk’s office. Both same-sex partners are required to be present at the city clerk’s office in order to obtain the marriage license. Proxy marriage is prohibited; hence, a third person is not allowed to apply for the other spouse.

The marriage license of the same-sex partners will be processed while the couple waits. Upon receipt of the marriage license, the same-sex couple is required to read through the documents carefully in order to confirm that there are no issues. The City clerk’s office can also perform the marriage ceremony. However, according to the law, a same-sex couple must wait 24 hours for the marriage to become valid, unless there is a judicial waiver. If the couple obtains a judicial waiver, the same-sex couple can get married on the same day.

Source: CityClerk.NYC.gov, “Marriage Bureau,” Accessed on April 6, 2015

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