Adam Welz's Weblog

Photos – 24 July 2011: Gay marriage becomes legal in New York

Posted in ALL BLOG POSTS, photography by adamwelz on July 25, 2011

Hi All

I’ve been slack about blogging lately. Lots of other stuff going on.

Yesterday, 24 July 2011, same-sex marriage became legal in New York state. I headed down with Sarah to the City Clerk’s Office in lower Manhattan, where we were legally married almost a year ago, to record the first official gay marriages in the city.

It was hot and extremely humid. Some had been waiting in line from 4:30am. The doors opened at around 8am to let hundreds of couples begin their progress from one official to the next, accumulating one piece of necessary paper after the next. At times there seemed to be more cameras than participants in this drawn-out, somewhat ad-hoc process. (Why do so many big changes in society involve standing in line?)

There was no shortage of stages on which to perform. Frivolity danced with deadly seriousness. A helluva lot of happiness spread itself around.

The images below are a first, loose edit from a place where the intensely personal became expansively (but not always easily) public and political, old rituals shifted their forms and thousands of people walked into a new phase of their lives.

One day we might look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. I’m glad I made it out of bed at 5am to be there.

*NOTE: All images are copyright Adam Welz 2011. If you would like to reproduce them anywhere or anyhow, please contact me first!



5 Responses

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  1. Sarah Venter said, on July 26, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Hi Adam,

    It gives me goose bumps of excitement that we can witness huge steps of
    change in society. Thank you for sharing these images and well done for
    being there on an intellectual level. I am impressed with how you have
    engaged with life in the states.

    Sarah Venter nee Bristow (incase you have forgotten who I am!)

  2. Carrie said, on July 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I’m so glad you caught the excitement on film! I’m wishing for audio!!

  3. clambrechts said, on July 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Hi Adam
    What a poignant and insightful portrait of such an important event. You captured so many precious personal moments – from the divine to the delightfully ridiculous.
    Would have loved to have been there to hear your comments 🙂
    Must admit, I have always been impressed with you and your work. Keep it up!

  4. Beth Mills said, on August 29, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Thanks Ad! These made my day.

  5. Jim Dahl said, on December 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Yes, Adam in America it is about the “Persuit of Happiness”.

    your old pal in Ketchikan…. Jim

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