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Greenburgh Celebrates Gay Marriage on Sunday

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- RoseAnn Hermann has been busy making sure that gay couples who come to Greenburgh Town Hall to marry on Sunday, the very first day same-sex marriage will become legal in the state, have a good time. Besides town employees to issue licenses and judges to consider waivers of a 24-hour waiting requirement, the couples will also find food, flowers and music waiting for them.

“The idea is to create a celebratory atmosphere for the people who want to be there,” said Hermann, a board member of LOFT, a While Plains gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community center that is helping to organize the event.

Town Clerk Judith Beville said the staff that will work on Sunday, around seven people, will volunteer their time.

“Nobody is receiving overtime pay for this,” she said.

The Town Hall will open from noon to 4 p.m. To get married you need to bring your original birth certificate or a copy of it (as long as it has the official mark), and your current driver’s license or passport. Foreigners should present their naturalization records.

After filling the marriage application, couples will sit with a judge, who will decide whether to grant them a waiver for the 24 hours waiting period set by the law. From her conversation with the judges, Beville said she thought the waivers would be granted.

“They sounded as if they wanted to be helpful and supportive,” she said.

Town Supervisor Paul Feiner also didn’t think the waiver would be a problem.

“It’s important for some people to say they got married in the first day they are allowed to do so,” he said.

Greenburgh has a tradition of supporting gay rights. It was one of the first towns to accept same-sex partnerships for health benefits, more than 10 years ago, Feiner said.

Some businesses volunteered to help out to show their commitment to the community. The catering hall Antun’s of Westchester will provide food (of the hors d’oeuvres style), champagne and gift certificates, said catering manager Illiana Buigues.

“We are experienced in same-sex marriage ceremonies,” she said.

Rachel Cho , of Manhattan, will offer the flowers, and there will be a pianist as well as a DJ.

As if that was not enough, couples who prefer to marry outdoors will be able to do it on a pleasant walkway, under the shade of two rows of dogwoods.

It will be historic, and it will be romantic, too.

What do you think of Greenburgh initiative? Are you planning to get married at Greenburgh on Sunday?  Tell us below or on Facebook.

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