First same-sex marriage on Long Island

July 24, 2011 12:02:20 PM PDT
Two men on Long Island exchanged vows in front of their friends and family to become among the first same-sex married couple in New York.

Patrick Simeone and Francisco Fuertes were married by a town clerk in Manhasset, Sunday morning.

They married in Quebec three years ago and had considered themselves married since they met and moved in together in 1988.

They had a small ceremony with a handful of friends in front of Town Clerk Leslie Gross and planned to be back at "business as usual" Monday morning.

"To me, it was about time,"' said Fuertes, a 55-year-old operations director for a retail company.

Simeone, a stylist on Long Island's north shore, said he's only sorry it took New York so long to recognize same-sex marriage.

"It's such a leader in many different ways," he said.

After the ceremony, Simeone said that despite being together 23 years, he felt different.

"We're happily married," he said shortly after 1 a.m. "I feel more loving. Kinder, more tender, more loved."