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NYC readies for July 24 start of same-sex marriage law

By Julia Talanova, CNN
  • New York City extends office hours ahead of law's July 24 enactment date
  • "This is a historic moment for New York," Mayor Michael Bloomberg says
  • New York is the sixth state, plus D.C., to allow same-sex marriage

New York (CNN) -- A new state law allowing same-sex marriage will go into effect July 24, and New York City is making special arrangements for those wanting to get married on the historic date.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that city clerk offices will be open for a full day Sunday, and workday hours have been extended until July 29. The state marriage applications are available now, and couples are urged to apply.

"This is a historic moment for New York, a moment many couples have waited years and even decades to see -- and we are not going to make them wait one day longer than they have to," Bloomberg said.

New York legalized same-sex marriage in June. The Marriage Equality Act was a priority for Gov. Andrew Cuomo after winning election in November. The law was passed under a Republican-led Senate after days of delays and negotiations between the two parties.

New York legalizes same-sex marriage

The legislation met with opposition from some religious groups, but In the city that gave birth to the gay and lesbian rights movements in the 1960s, the signs of celebration are apparent. One bridal shop window already displays two female mannequins -- one dressed in tuxedo and the other in a wedding gown.

New York is the sixth state -- joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire -- to grant same-sex marriage licenses. The District of Columbia also allows same-sex marriages.