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Getting Ready for Marriage Equality

By Joyce Gramza


Oswego, NY – New York State's new marriage equality law will go into effect on July 24th.
WRVO's Joyce Gramza asked Syracuse's city clerk what that means for the folks who will be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Syracuse City Clerk John Copanas says his office is already getting phone calls from couples who want to be ready to tie the knot.
"We're giving them the same answers as we are giving you right now," he says. That answer is, they don't know yet. Copanas says the reason the law does not take effect until July 24th is to give the state time to notify clerks' offices of any procedural changes.
"Assuming there are no changes from the current way in which you have to get a marriage license, New York State does not require a blood test, you basically come in with government ID to prove who you are. If you've been married before, you have to have divorce papers to show that you're divorced. And then you have to take an oath that the information you provide in the marriage license is accurate," he says.
Copanas says he anticipates some busy days when the law takes effect.
"I would make sure that i have a full staff here to handle it. So I would probably not give vacation days on the first few days that same-sex marriages became effective," Copanas says.
But he notes that you don't have to go to city hall for the piece of paper. "You can go anywhere" (in the state), he says. "As a matter of fact, we have a lot of SU students that come here and get their marriage license and they're going to marry in New York City. Any clerk's office the nlicense is good throughout New York State.
Copanas says he hopes to receive detailed procedural information from the state within a week.