Anti-gay marriage rallies as NY ceremonies begin

July 24, 2011 - 2:58 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Thousands of opponents of gay marriage are protesting in cities across New York as the first weddings are performed in the state.

The National Organization for Marriage held rallies Sunday afternoon in New York City, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo, saying Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers redefined marriage without giving voters a chance to weigh-in, as they have in other states. Protesters chanted "Let the People Vote!" at rallies across the state.

The first gay marriages in New York were performed just after midnight and continued through the day at municipal offices that opened for special weekend hours.

New York became the sixth and largest state to recognize same-sex weddings in a close state Senate vote on June 24 after strong lobbying by Cuomo and advocates.