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Mayor of Amsterdam Weds Gay NY - Dutch Couples in Boat on Canal


Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen married several couples including five gay couples, each with a partner from Amsterdam and New York, on a boat in a canal during the city's Gay Pride festival on Saturday.

Reuters reports: "Tens of thousands of spectators cheered as Mayor Job Cohen performed the ceremony on a cruise around the city's canals to celebrate the high point of the city's gay pride festival. Eight years ago Cohen presided over the first legal Dutch gay marriage. All five couples had at least one partner from New York, where a battle over the legalization of gay marriage rages on. 'For me it's a message to New York, the most liberal state, the most hip state, to get with it,' said Ira Siff, an opera professional from New York who was about to marry his partner, opera singer Hans Heijnis. The New York-Amsterdam connection is much in the news this year, with the cities celebrating a 400-year relationship in 2009. Cohen called the couples a 'figurehead' for that bond. 'Your transatlantic love is proof of the lasting connection between old and new Amsterdam,' Cohen said in the service."

This year's Canal Parade attracted a record 560,000 spectators.

Watch a video of Cohen marrying Jorge Vazquez (right) of the U.S.and his dutch partner dutch Stanley Doorn (above), AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I'd like to wish New York the best of luck in their struggle for marriage equality. I am very lucky to live in Canada where we have had to right to marry since 2005.

    Posted by: Andrew | Aug 3, 2009 10:02:30 AM

  2. I was there in Amsterdam on Saturday. It was so moving! It is amazing to think about how far the world has come since the very first marriages in Amsterdam... and on the other hand angering and emboldening when you think about how much further we have to go!

    Posted by: Andy | Aug 3, 2009 10:28:17 AM

  3. Thank you for covering this item! As a proud Dutchman I'd like to make one small point, not only did Mayor Cohen perform the first Dutch gay marriages, I think he also performed the first ever gay marriages in the world! (Civil partnerships were available before that date, but he was the first to officiate at an actual gay wedding.)

    Posted by: John | Aug 3, 2009 1:20:11 PM

  4. I take exception to New York being the "most liberal.. most hip" state in our union. Outside of pockets of NYC, New York is rather conservative. You encounter no greater disparity in ideals than in the urban/suburban difference found in New York state.

    Vermont and Massacheussetts most likely deserve the title of "most liberal" in our union.

    California can give NY a run for "most hip," considering a great majority of popular culture (excluding fashion) derives from the Hollywood machine.

    Posted by: Tommy | Aug 3, 2009 2:01:09 PM

  5. Good grief, I hope those dreadful shirts don't catch on here in the States.

    Posted by: Joel | Aug 3, 2009 5:42:32 PM

  6. Agreed, Joel. The collars look painful.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 3, 2009 7:33:44 PM

  7. Massachusetts is more progressive than New York, but the fact that most gay people in our state were born here rather than immigrants like NYC, SF, LA is why gay marriage prevailed here. I remember hearing some family discussions during the period before the Legislature voted down the ballot question. New Englanders are unique, as are for that matter the people in Amsterdam. This video really brought back memories. If you can swing it, go at least once.

    Posted by: interglossa | Aug 3, 2009 9:14:24 PM

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