Due to huge demand for couples wanting to marry on Sunday, July 24, New York City officials have announced they're holding a lottery in order to accommodate the masses, the WSJ reports:
Officials said couples could be stuck waiting in long lines all day and, though the city has added extra clerks for Sunday, ultimately would not be able to get married because of the high volume. The lottery will guarantee 764 couples – either opposite- or same-sex — access to marry at one of the City Clerk’s five offices Sunday.
The 764 couples to marry would be the largest number of marriages on any single day in city history.
As of Tuesday morning, the City Clerk’s Office had received 2,661 online applications since July 5th; the Clerk has estimated that 1,728 are from same-sex couples. Officials said the data collected by the city showed 54% of the online applicants planned to visit the clerk’s offices on Sunday in pursuit of a marriage license, and that 50% planned to marry that day.
Said Human Rights Campaign Senior Strategist Brian Ellner in a statement:
"The record breaking number of couples registering to marry shows how popular–and right– passing marriage equality was. The lottery is a good compromise. Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn took this great problem to have and came up with a good solution. There will be a lot of love at the City Clerk's Office on Sunday. Every lawmaker, Democrat and Republican, should take heart that New York families are all the stronger."
Couples who wish to marry this Sunday can register for the lottery at the City Clerk's website at www.nyc.gov or by calling 311. The lottery opens at noon TODAY and closes to entries at noon on Thursday.
Each of the five borough offices will have a separate lottery. Folks must specify the borough when applying.
Winners are to be notified by Friday at noon.
In related news, the following Saturday, dozens of couples will be wed at pop-up chapels in Central Park:
On July 30, the first Saturday that same-sex marriage will be legal in New York State, two dozen couples will be wed inside two pop-up chapels that will appear for about 10 hours at the Merchants’ Gate entrance to Central Park, near Columbus Circle.
The designs for the two chapels will be selected from entries to a contest that began last week and ends July 21. The winning design will be announced the next day, giving architects only eight days to bring their concepts to fruition.
Keep up with all of our NY marriage equality news at THIS link.