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Same sex couples filled out marriage licenses: Opponents protested

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WBFO News photo by Ashley Hassett
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Same sex couple fills out marriage application at Buffalo's city clerk's office Sunday

By Ashley Hassett & Howard Riedel

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-978964.mp3

Buffalo, NY – 30-Same sex couples waited in line at Buffalo City Hall Sunday morning to get a marriage license.

Sunday was the first day the couples were legally allowed to be married in New York State.

WBFO News Producer Ashley Hassett spoke with a couple who said they never thought this day would come. Chris Lopez and Edward Wolfe have been together for six-years and recently bought a house together.

The couple said they were so afraid the bill would never be passed, that they were making arrangements to get married outside of the country. Wolfe says their dreams are finally coming true.

"When I proposed to him, he didn't think it was going to be possible and I'm like just wait when were ready it will be legal I swear. He was skeptical, but I was following the news step-by-step and I remember when they legalized it I called him immediately. He was coming home from work and we just cried, we were just so happy that it was finally going to happen," said Wolfe.

Lopez said he encourages young people who are gay to embrace life and not to worry about what other people think. The couple has planned an intimate wedding that is set to take place Monday.

Lisa Pelczynski and Rosanne Marek of Buffalo said they've shared a home and foster children together for years. They say all they've ever wanted was to be treated equally. Marek said marriage equality in this state gives hope to couples across the nation.

"Under our constitution it says we the people, so that means everyone and that's what means most to us is that were going to be treated just like everyone else," said Marek.

Pelczynski said making their commitment legal allows them to live their life with a sense of security.

Empire State Pride Officials were at City Hall Sunday to present each couple getting a license with a "Just Married" sash. The sashes are a keepsake to celebrate the historic day.

But not all are in support of the new same sex marriage law. Protestors appeared on the steps of City Hall Sunday.

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms are vowing a multi-year fight to push for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

A number of religious leaders participated in the protest. Lancaster Presbyterian Church Pastor Kelly Negus was a speaker. He called on religious and the faithful to "restore New York State to obedience, righteousness and truth."

Others are calling for a statewide referendum on gay marriage, saying voters should have the right to decided.