City Clerk's offices in New York City will be open on Sunday, July 24, to accommodate same-sex couples wishing to marry on the first day the gay marriage bill takes effect in the state, city officials announced Wednesday.
Additionally, clerk's offices will extend their hours the week before the law takes effect in anticipation of an increase in applications for marriage licenses and civil ceremonies, Mayor Bloomberg's office said in a statement.
On July 24, the first day gay marriage ceremonies can take place since the law was signed, clerk's offices will be open in all five boroughs, City Hall said. The offices would normally be closed for the weekend.
"This is a historic moment for New York, a moment many couples have waited years and even decades to see – and we are not going to make them wait one day longer than they have to,” said Bloomberg.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the gay marriage bill on June 24. The state is home to an estimated 42,000 same-sex couples.
"So many of us have waited a lifetime for the day we could see full equality for all New York families, now that day is finally in sight," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. "The city of New York will be the place to be on July 24 and we are proud to welcome all couples and their families to have a meaningful ceremony in the Clerk’s office, right here in the greatest city on earth."
On Tuesday, same-sex couples were officially able to begin applying for marriage licenses in New York. Some couples were displeased to find that the applications made available to them still used the terms "bride" and "groom." Officials said that was corrected by Tuesday night.