On Sunday, the first day that gay and lesbian couples can legally marry in New York State, the New York Civil Liberties Union will be out in force in locations across the state to celebrate with newly married couples, answer questions about the new marriage law and advocate for repeal of the discriminatory federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In New York City, volunteers and staff from the NYCLU and American Civil Liberties Union will gather outside the City Clerk’s Office starting at 8 a.m. to celebrate, take photos of newlyweds, distribute copies of the NYCLU’s new FAQ on the Marriage Equality Act, and solicit signatures for a petition calling on the state’s congressional delegation to support the Respect for Marriage Act – legislation pending in the House and Senate that would repeal DOMA and provide all married couples certainty that regardless of where they travel or move in the country, they will not be treated as strangers under federal law.

In Rochester, NYCLU volunteers will join other local LGBT-rights advocates at City Hall starting at 1 p.m. to congratulate happy couples and distribute the FAQ and solicit signatures for the petition.

At midnight on Sunday in Niagara Falls, NYCLU representatives will live-tweet the wedding of Buffalo residents Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd, which will be among the first same-sex weddings performed in the state. (They will use the hash tag #July 24 on all marriage related tweets.) Also, volunteers will be at Buffalo City Hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. soliciting signatures for the petition and distributing the FAQ.

The NYCLU’s marriage FAQ covers a wide range of topics, including the nuts and bolts of applying for a marriage license; the rights and responsibilities conferred by marriage; the implications of the law’s religious exemptions; and protections afforded same-sex couples by the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

NYCLU advocacy to mark the first day that same-sex couples can legally marry in New York State

Sunday, July 24

New York City: 8 a.m. – noon
Rochester: 1 – 5 p.m.
Buffalo: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Niagara Falls: Beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 23; the wedding ceremony will occur at midnight

New York City Clerk’s Office, Louis J. Lefkowitz State Office Building, 141 Worth St.
Rochester City Hall, 30 Church St.
Buffalo City Hall, 65 Niagara Square
The wedding ceremony is on Goat Island, northeast point overlooking the Bridal Veil Falls at Niagara Falls