Bittersweet weddings approach for NY gay couples

By CHRIS HAWLEY and MICHAEL HILL | July 23, 2011 | 1:44 PM EDT

In this July 12, 2011 photo, Elissa Kane, left, and Lynne Lekakis relax in their backyard with their dog Lucky, in Albany, N.Y. The couple plans to make their marriage official as New York's new marriage law takes effect. (AP Photo/Tim Roske)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York will usher in legal gay marriage Sunday with an expected wedding boom as hundreds of people seize the moment.

Couples planning to wed in the first week under the new law talked not only about blissful futures, but also hard-fought victories, political statements and a sense that New York is catching up with what has been in their hearts for a long time.

Mark Lynch, who will marry his partner of 29 years Monday in a group ceremony at Niagara Falls, says their marriage will be an important symbol.

New York will become the sixth and largest state to sanction same-sex marriage at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. Clerks' offices in New York City and a dozen other cities will open Sunday specifically to handle the crush of couples.