Two women who are grandmothers became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the state of New York, when they took part in a ceremony just after midnight on Saturday.
Kitty Lambert, 54, and Cheryle Rudd, 53, were joined by family, friends, supporters and tourists as they married at a Niagara Falls park near the Canada-US border. Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster officiated and the water cascade was bright with rainbow-coloured lights.
The New York Times reported that, following 12 tolls of a bell to ring in the day, Dyster, said, “By the power vested in me by the laws of the state of New York, I now pronounce you legally married.”
According to Reuters, Lambert, an art gallery manager, made the blue satin dress she wore. Rudd, who works in a food processing plant, was dressed in a white tuxedo.
“I may be the first person standing here in history, but I’m just an ordinary grandma," The New York Times quoted Lambert as saying just before thew wedding. "This is one of the most incredible moments of my personal life, but it’s also an incredible moment for New York.”
The women have five children and 12 grandchildren between them.
They have been a couple for more than a decade.
"We ended up together because our partners were having an affair with each other," Lambert told the Village Voice. "So we went out to laugh about it and have a drink and commiserate. And we found out it was the most wonderful thing that they cheated with each other, because we were so better suited to each other. It was a God kind of thing.
So we started dating, and instantly we knew this is who we were supposed to be with. Of course, marriage wasn't an option back then, even in California."
She was involved in the founding of, and is president of, OUTspoken for Equality.
"This is pretty cool," Australian visitor Andrew Holder told Reuters following the wedding. "You come to see the falls, you see history."
Photos from Lambert and Rudd's wedding can be seen on the Daily Mail website.