New York mayor to preside at same sex wedding on July 24

Thu Jul 7, 2011 9:34pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will officiate at the wedding of two city officials on July 24, the first day same sex couples can legally marry in the state.

It will only be the third time that Bloomberg, who has been a staunch supporter of changing the law to allow same-sex couples to wed, has officiated at a wedding since taking office in 2002.

Jonathan Mintz, the city's consumer affairs commissioner, and John Feinblatt, a chief adviser to the mayor, will marry at Gracie Mansion in Manhattan.

"John and Jonathan have each done so much to make the City a better place, and together, they helped me see the issue of marriage equality in very clear terms," Bloomberg said in a statement provided through a spokesman. "This will be one of the biggest days of their lives, a day they've waited a long time to see, and I'm just honored to be a part of it."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last month signed the state's Marriage Equality Act into law, making New York the sixth U.S. state to allow gay marriage, and by far the most populous one to do so.

Bloomberg has also announced that clerk's offices in New York City will be opened on Sunday, July 24, saying that same-sex couples should not "wait one day longer than they have to" to take advantage of the change in the law.

Bloomberg previously officiated at the weddings of his predecessor, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and of his daughter.

(Reporting by Johnathan Allen; Editing by Greg McCune)

<p>Manuel Rojas shows off his engagement ring during the Gay Pride Parade in New York June 26, 2011. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>