Squadron Hosts Gay Marriage Forum Tomorrow

Tomorrow State Senator Daniel Squadron, along with many other elected officials,  hosts a public forum on the next steps following the historic approval of gay marriage in New York earlier this year.  The event,  “After ‘I Do’: What’s Next for LGBT New Yorkers?” takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. U.S. Senator  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will be among the featured guests.  More details from the senator’s press release:

The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as well as the religious exemptions included in the New York marriage equality bill, create a number of obstacles and questions for same-sex couples, even if they’re married under New York law – including social security, health benefits, federal pension benefits, tax returns, interstate travel and relocation, and adoption. The forum will address these issues and bring together representatives from the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, as well as an official from the federal government.

If you’re interested in attending, RSVP to: squadron@nysenate.gov.

Gay Marriage Sunday; Two LES Couples Celebrate!

Andy Berg and Dominic Pisciotta with twins Spencer and Olivia.

There was a media frenzy surrounding the first day of gay marriage in New York yesterday, but it wasn’t just a huge state and national news event. The momentous occasion was a Lower East Side story, as well.  This is because two local couples — who happen to live in the same section of the same building on Grand Street — ended up playing very high profile roles in the dramatic, history-making day.

Carol Anastasio and Mimi Brown, who may have gotten more ink in the Daily News this past week than Barack Obama, were among the first couples married at the city clerk’s office yesterday morning.  Meanwhile, their friends and neighbors Andy Berg and Dominic Pisciotta were the last of 484 couples to read their vows. Dominic had a few chores to take care of first. As an assistant commissioner of technology for the city, he was responsible for making sure everything went smoothly on a day in which all eyes were on New York.

Just Married! Same Sex Couples from the Lower East Side Make History

Carol Anastasio and Mimi Brown, among the first same sex couples married in New York today. Photo by thelodownny.com

Lower East Side “love birds” Carol Anastasio and Mimi Brown posed for pictures after helping to make history in New York today.  They were among the first same sex couples married at the city clerk’s office early this morning.  The Daily News has been profiling Carol and Mimi throughout the week. This afternoon the Old Homestead Steakhouse in the Meatpacking District is throwing them a big party. Among the invited guests: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

It’s quite a scene at the Marriage Bureau on Centre Street, where hundreds of gay couples are tying the knot on the first day same sex weddings are permitted in the state.  We’ll be heading back downtown this afternoon, to witness another wedding. Dominic Pisciotta, chair of Community Board 3, and his partner, Andy Berg, will be the last couple married at the clerk’s office today.  Dominic, an IT director for the city, has played a leading role in preparing New York for the big day.  He and Andy have also found themselves in the media spotlight this weekend (see the Daily Beast).

We’ll have more on both Lower East Side couples tomorrow…

Rent Regs Near Deal, Gay Marriage Pending, Brooklyn Bridge Noise

  • A deal on rent regulations is expected to be finalized in Albany today, and both landlords and tenants are finding reasons to criticize it. (NYT, NY Daily News)
  • Silver says there’s some movement on language for gay marriage bill, but no deal yet. (TalkingPointsMemo)
  • What’s that noise on the Brooklyn Bridge late at night? The city’s own jackhammers, and they’re too loud. (DNAinfo)
  • The Open Road Park in the East Village is closed; here’s why. (EV Grieve)
  • This isn’t really news, but it’s really cool: A website that documents the color of the NYC sky at any given moment. (NY Mag)

Climbers on the Billyburg Bridge, Skate Park, Child Porn Arrests, Rent Law, Gay Marriage

  • Two young men were arrested for scaling the Williamsburg Bridge yesterday; they told police they wanted to “take better pictures” (Gothamist, CBS)
  • A beat-up skate park under the Manhattan Bridge gets a grant for a facelift (DNAinfo)
  • An LES childrens’ shoe salesman and an East Village resident were among the 26 men collared for child pornography in a major bust this week. (NY Daily News)
  • NYC’s rent control law expired at midnight, as talks broke down in the state Senate. Stay tuned for the next round; there are five more days until the end of the session (Gotham Gazette, NY Daily News, AP/WSJ)
  • Gay marriage vote nears (NYT)