The big day arrived on Saturday for City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Dan Hendrick, spokesman for the New York League of Conservation Voters and a former Queens Chronicle editor-in-chief. After more than 13 years together, the couple was married at Studio Square in Long Island City.
The ceremony was performed by County Clerk Audrey Pheffer. Among those in attendance was Queens Chronicle Publisher Mark Weidler, a friend of both men and strong supporter of same-sex marriage.
Hendrick and Van Bramer had decided long ago against getting married in any of the states that legalized gay weddings before New York, wanting to take their vows in their home community of Queens. They issued this joint statement through Van Bramer's office on Monday:
"We are overjoyed that so many family and friends witnessed our wedding Saturday night. For over 13 years we have been in a committed and loving relationship, yet before marriage equality passed last year, we were denied the right marry one another.
"At this time, we are grateful for our loving families, friends, and the numerous neighbors, constituents and even complete strangers who wished us well on our union.
Our happiness at having fulfilled our dream of getting married knows no bounds. We are grateful to live in a State and City that recognize that we are equal and should not be discriminated against. And we'll redouble our efforts to make sure that all Americans can get married to the one they love."
— Peter C. Mastrosimone