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Same sex marriage celebrates its first anniversary

It's been a year since gay marriage became legal in New York state.  Since the initial rush the Syracuse City Clerk's office says it has seen a steady number of same sex licenses applications. Through Mid-July, that means 135 marriage licenses issued to gay and lesbian couples.

Diana Gandino handles many of the marriage license applications that come into Syracuse City Hall, and detects a slight difference among the same sex couples who've gotten a license in the last year.  

"Most of the same sex couples have been very long term and no there's not much different other than more thoughtful compared to some of the population we do see," said Gandino.

Gandino says after the initial rush, the office has been averaging about one same sex marriage license a day. Out of the 135 applications through mid-July in Syracuse, there have been 91 actual marriages, more women than men, with the majority from Onondaga County,

Gay marriage is legal in only six states, and there have only been a handful of out-of-state couple's coming to central New York to get a license, which surprised Gandino.

"We had thought we would get a huge rush from across the country. But that didn't happen," Gandino said. "It seemed to be people were content to bide their time in their own states or something.  We haven't seen what we thought we would see."

There was one rush for gay marriages since that first Sunday a year ago -- earlier this year when benefit regulations changed for employees in the Syracuse City School District.

"When domestic relation agreements seemed to be moot, everyone was saying now you have to have a marriage to gain the same benefits that were allowed under the domestic relation partnership."

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.