Gay marriage lottery puts limits on love

Long Island resident Robert G. Lassegue, right, would like to marry his fiance Jose Manuel Reyes,on July 24 and called the lottery “unnerving.” “I am not a fan,” said Lassegue.

Queens resident Norma Virola, 36, waited for years to marry her girlfriend Crystal Gonzalez, 27.

When the state legalized gay marriage the two eagerly planned to tie the knot on Sunday, the first day the law goes into effect. But now, thanks to the city’s marriage lottery, Virola and Gonzalez may have to wait even longer.

“We have been through a lot,” said Virola. “We didn’t want to wait. We wanted to get married the first day it was legal.”

The city unveiled an unprecedented lottery system yesterday due to the high number of marriage applicants for this weekend. Out of the 2,661 couples who’ve applied to get married at City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that only a fraction of those will wed. Citywide, 764 couples, straight and gay, will be chosen at random to marry.

Virola and her sweetheart will be in suspense until this Friday at noon, when the city will notify them if they won a coveted spot in the wedding lottery.

“People’s lives are in limbo,” said Jake Goodman of advocacy group Queer Rising. “Why is the city so surprised there were going to be so many people wanting to get married? Everyone’s going to want to get married on this historic day.”

“They should have taken steps to make sure no one would be turned away,” said New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat.

Lottery slot by borough

112  Brooklyn City Clerk’s Office

400  Manhattan City Clerk’s Office

112  Queens City Clerk’s Office

98  Bronx City Clerk’s Office

42  Staten Island City Clerk’s Office



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