Gay Couples Say Marriage Lottery Won’t Stop Their Wedding Celebrations

| July 20, 2011 10:37 AM

Huddled on the couch in their Amsterdam Avenue apartment, Kawane Harris and Jeanette Cooper eagerly clutched their lottery ticket — which they hope will allow them to be among those picked to be legally wed when the city opens the doors to gay marriage Sunday.

Harris and Cooper are among the thousands of same-sex couples who were put on notice by the city Tuesday that their plans to be among the first to legally wed in New York State may be put on hold.

Jeanette Cooper (left) and Kawane Harris (right) will have a second wedding ceremony at Foley Square July 24, 2011. DNAinfo/Kawane Harris

“My stomach is in knots … Am I going to be one of the 400 chosen people?” asked Cooper, 41, who learned of the lottery when a friend texted her the news. “Straight people don’t have to wait…We’re being limited.”

To cope with unprecedented interest, officials said they have had to limit the vows to 764 lucky couples from around the city — only 400 of whom are allowed to be registered in Manhattan — whose names will be chosen via lottery. Harris’ and Cooper’s lottery ticket is a single sheet printed out from the City Clerk’s website with their names and the date they applied for a license.

The couple won’t find out until Friday — a nail-biting two days before their scheduled wedding ceremony — whether their application has been selected from the lottery. If they’re selected, they’ll get a phone call or email from the city.

The registration remains open until Thursday and the city hasn’t released the number of applicants who have registered so far.

Still, Cooper said that even if they’re not picked, nothing will stop her from donning her wedding dress and heading to Foley Square Sunday, where she and Harris, 35, will say their vows in front of over 100 people.

“We already feel married,” said Cooper, adding that the couple had a church marriage ceremony last August at their congregation Metropolitan Community Church. “Now everybody else will recognize us,” she said.

But things are more up in the air for engaged couple Patrick Plain, 51, and Seongman Hong, 40, of Queens who have been together for six years — as their special day is now trapped in limbo.

Read the full post at DNAinfo.

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