Straight Couple Among Winners of Honeymoon Package Celebrating Same-Sex Marriage from City of New York

NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Clerk Michael McSweeney and NYC & Company announced that "five couples- one who married in each borough" on the day that New York's marriage equality law came into effect, have won honeymoon packages from the city:

Firstcouple Couples who entered the public lottery to marry on the first day of marriage equality in New York, were automatically entered into a drawing to receive the honeymoon package. An all-time high of 659 marriage licenses were issued in New York on July 24. Couples came from as far and varied as Hawaii, Utah, Texas and Missouri to say ‘I do’ and usher in a new era of acceptance and equality in New York State.

However, the NY Daily News reports, one of those couples, Sacha Jessamy and Sharif Allen, is straight, and a wedding website in their name says they were married on October 24, 2009.

According to the email from Quinn's office, "Newlyweds Tina Johnson and Iris Gonzalez in the Bronx; Rafael Delannoy and Emilio Casarez in Manhattan; Gregory Anderson and Peter Talley in Brooklyn; Sacha Jessamy and Sharif Allen in Queens and Robert Portas and Charles Dominick in Staten Island  were selected to receive the New York City honeymoon package, which includes a two-night stay in a luxury hotel, dinner for two at any Benmarc Restaurant, two tickets to the Broadway musical Hair, and passes to an array of cultural institutions throughout New York City.  All those who were married on Sunday will receive a gift certificate to Macy’s to celebrate their union. "


  1. Mike C says

    I don’t have a problem if a straight couple wins the lotterY–in fact, I think It’s nice. We can’t rail against inequality and then start segregating gay married couples from straight ones, especially allies.

    BUT, unfortunately, if they were married back in 2009, well then.. those SHYSTERS!

  2. K says

    Cue press conference: “Our sexuality shouldn’t be relevant in this situation. We deserve this because we love each. But we aren’t homophobic or anything!”

  3. Really? says

    Go to their wedding website which proclaims them “newlyweds for 626 days!” (barf) and leave a message on their guest page.

    Low-life gate crashing breeders.

  4. James says

    The fact their straight isn’t the point, it’s the fact that they were married already!!!

  5. GreggAnNYC says

    As one of the couples who won mentioned in the article, I think its great that a straight couple won. The reporter of the article called me this morning and asked me for a comment on what I thought that a straight couple had won…asked me if I thought it had rained on our parade..I told her that we couldn’t be happier that they won…If they were willing to stand in the lines, etc…then good for them. The whole purpose of this has been about equality and inclusion.

  6. Kevin_BGFH says

    I have no problem with a straight couple winning, provided that they met the terms of the contest, which appears to be that they were legally married on the first day same-sex couples could get married. I am puzzled by qualifying if they were married in October, 2009. Did they have a ceremony then but held off getting the actual marriage licensing until later? And if so, why? Was it a sort of Angelina/Brad things of “we won’t get married ’til our gay friends can”? A good journalist should follow up.

  7. FernLaPlante says

    Did they actually get married on the specific required day or did they just enter their names? Or, worse yet, did they just renew their vows so that they had a chance at winning and stealing the prize from a gay couple?

  8. BobN says

    Going out on a limb here and thinking this is the first step in the eventual public acceptance of Coupon-Americans…

  9. Stuart says

    Bombing this straight couples wedding guest book with nasty comments just isn’t helping anyone … least of all us gay folk. Let the contest organizers ensure the rules were followed and stop harassing these folks … whether they were right or wrong to enter the contest, nasty, vile comments from our community on their wedding guest book just makes us all look sad.

  10. anon says

    The point of the lottery was to increase tourism, so it doesn’t matter if gay or str8 couples participated.

  11. says

    Straight, fine, married in 2009, not fine. But, now that attention has been called to it, it’s kind of up to the city to bust them, or not. There are bigger problems in the world than perpetual newlyweds (gag me) and moonlight looters making off with a honeymoon package. Unless they’re against equality, in which case, lock em up and throw away the key!