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New Castle Prepares for Gay Marriages Monday

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - The Town of New Castle is making preparations for the legalization of the Marriage Equality Act which becomes law in New York State on Sunday. New Castle town clerk Jill Shapiro is ready for gay couples to apply for marriage licenses first thing next week.

“We will treat same sex marriages the same way we do any other marriages so Monday morning we’ll accept them,” Shapiro said. “Anyone can come in and get a marriage license, then there’s a 24-hour waiting period.”

Shapiro is equipped with the new New York State marriage licenses, which include a more general definition of a partner. The New York State Department of Health Affidavit, License and Certificate of Marriage now defines a potential partner as a bride, groom or spouse, depending upon what the party chooses to classify itself as.

“I was thinking just “partner” on top would be the easiest thing to do but they have an option of bride, groom, or spouse,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro is not expecting an influx of same-sex marriage applicants Monday morning.

“We’ve had a couple of inquiries about same sex marriages,” Shapiro said. “I expect maybe one person will stop in.”

One Chappaqua clergyman expressed his support of the same-sex marriage legislation.

“As a priest I support this legislation with a full appreciation of how it fits the moral and ethical underpinnings of Christianity,” said Pastor Joel Mason Clark of The Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Chappaqua. “When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was he replied, ‘The first is, love God with your heart, soul, mind, and body. The second, which is like the first, is love your neighbor as yourself’.”

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