In just a few minutes nearly 1000 same-sex couples will be legally married in New York State. With the 24 hour waiting period waived, history will be made all over New York as midnight ceremonies take place, each location competing to be first.
One couple will wait a little longer. Ed Deph and Peter Schroeter have lived together in a committed relationship for thirty-four years. My former landlords from the Ten Broeck Triangle area of Albany will have a special 6 pm ceremony at their local gay club ROCKS. Both Ed and Peter are retired Correction Counselors who worked for the New York State Department of Correctional Services. In addition to friends, ceremony will be attended by NYS Senator Neil Breslin who will give a speech he prepared for the passing of the Marriage Equality Act but was unable to present it because of time constraints. The wedding is billed as part of the 5pm – 8pm Marriage Equality Celebration at ROCKS.
This is an older photo of Ed and Peter preparing for a masquerade party. I thought it fit the bill.
Gazette Reporter Bethany Bump wrote a really nice article in the July 25, 2011, edition describing Peter and Ed’s wedding.
ALBANY — As Pete Schroeter stood next to his 34-year partner, Ed Delph, on Sunday, he looked tall and proud. But as soon as ordained minister Jim Larson spoke, his eyes began to water.
“By the power vested in me by the state of New York — 30 days ago — I now pronounce you husband and husband,” Larson said, to a room that erupted into cheers and applause as Schroeter and Delph shared their first kiss as a married couple.
The longtime members of Albany’s LGBT community were the first to receive their marriage license in Albany and wed on the same day that same-sex marriage became legal in the state. The ceremony was the highlight Sunday at Rocks, a popular Albany gay club on Central Avenue, that hosted a “Heroes: A Celebration of Marriage Equality in New York”.
State Sen. Neil Breslin, D-Delmar, and Rocks bartender Dave Fenton served as witnesses to make the marriage of Schroeter and Delph official. Just before the men exchanged their “I dos,” Breslin delivered to the ecstatic and smiling crowd the two-minute speech he would have given on the Senate floor when the bill passed if there had been more than four senators allowed to speak.
“I can remember in the past, people asking me why I wanted to be an elected official, and I said I think I can really make a difference in people’s lives. But I used to question that,” Breslin said. “And on June 24, we all made a difference and we made people’s lives better. And there was no expense to it, because this was not an issue of morality or religion. It was an issue of civil rights.”
The issue was one many cared about at Sunday’s event. Gays, lesbians and supporters filtered through the club, chatting, dancing and reveling in the day’s symbolism.