One of the initial features of The Big Apple that attracts queer eyes has to be without a doubt the ability to get married to someone of the same sex. As of today only five other states allow legal recognition of same-sex couples. It was on Sunday July 24th 2011 that gay couples that had been together for years were able to get married in the eyes of the law in the Big Apple.
On that Sunday, 659 marriage licenses were issued according to Mayor Bloomberg. Gays came out in droves to snatch up licenses before New Yorkers changed their minds. Even a liquidation sale at Crate and Barrel couldn’t have kept the gays away from the county clerk’s office.
Why the fight for marriage? Aside from the highly publicized many legal benefits, marriage has been proved to promote a psychological well-being. Hundreds of studies have found lower rates of depression, substance abuse, and alcoholism in married couples. And it just so happens that research suggests that those three afflictions happen to be high in the LGBTQ community. In a way, marriage may be more meaningful to gays than heterosexuals because of the potential psychological benefits it may offer.
Unfortunately for many gay couples, the difficulties of having a gay marriage didn’t stop simply because it was deemed as acceptable in the eyes of the law. Gays must endure problems unique to the community.
6 reasons why gay marriage is harder
When Gay marriage was legalized the government was presented with a problem: while the city of New York allows gay marriage, it is not a federal right. This means that when gay couples were to fill out tax information, there would discrepancies in their tax information between New York and US. What New York decided to do was make the ‘inconveniencing, yet equal’ rule that gay couples must fill out two sets of taxes: one for the NY state registering them as a couple and a set they must fill out individually to send to the federal government. A walkthrough exists to guide couples through the process, but it is no doubt extra work and as the NY Times suggested, possibly more expensive if using an accountant.
Lack of resources:
If you are gay couple looking to get married, you probably have gay taste. This means everything has to be #$%$ fabulous (aka a little girl’s Cinderella wedding dreams on gay crack). One thing you may want is a cake topper—wait, where the hell are you going to get a gay cake topper??? And even if you do, will it be serious? You’ll probably have to buy one online and pay more than a straight couple would. Aside from the cake, many catering organizations will roll their eyes at a gay couple wanting their services to help with the wedding. Which brings up another issue…
If you are a gay couple looking to get health insurance, you will be charged more than a heterosexual couple. The New York Times released an article that described hypothetical income situations of gay couple and found that it is very expensive to be married to someone of the same sex. Although the numbers aren’t perfect and are based off of many assumptions, the suggestions are very telling.
Finding a Venue:
If you find yourself in a gay couple wanting to get married, you can’t just waltz into any church and say, “Can I host my big gay dream wedding on your premises?” Church of Jesus Christ of LDS doesn’t allow gay marriages (note: this has not been checked, but it’s a Mormon church and we just figured… not that you wanted to get married there… unless you’re a Mormon gay couple and if that’s the case, sorry :/). For a list of places that do, you can click here.
For many gay couples planning weddings, the guest list can be a daunting list. For one, if you an uninvited gay finds out you neglected to send them an invitation, shit’s gonna get cray-cray. Hell hath no fury a queer scorned. But more on the serious side, often the issue of who to invite is most problematic when it comes to family and how awkward it may be to tell grandmother not only are you gay but you’re marring someone. Even worse, it is not uncommon for parents not to attend the wedding out of religious beliefs, which can easily put a damper on the whole day. It isn’t too often in heterosexual marriages that parents will be discouraged from attending the event (aside from a parent not liking the person their son/daughter is marrying). However for many gay couples, this is a reality.
Finding all things gay friendly:
When it comes down to it, so much careful planning must go into a gay wedding that heterosexuals do not have to endure. Because of the tradition of having a religious figure serve as the officiant, again there may be problems finding someone who will perform the task. Luckily there exists a list that shows many New York gay friendly organizations that can provide someone. Also, many gay couples desire to get their rings engraved or catered more to the gay community. After some careful searching, even those can be found here.
For more advice for making your gay marriage a stunner, visit gay.weddings.com.