Dozens of gay couples wed on Long Island

July 26, 2011 2:20:42 PM PDT
Dozens of gay couples are joyfully participating in a mass wedding, only days after same-sex marriages became legal in New York state.

The ceremony was held Tuesday at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, on Long Island.

The 52 couples include 79-year-old Arthur Guilmette and 76-year-old Jim Lawrence, of Coram. They've been together 53 years.

The pair met before the Stonewall era, when gays began fighting for civil rights in Greenwich Village.

The wedding venue is also the two-time home of the U.S. Open golf championships. The couples were reciting their vows on a terrace overlooking the park's famed "Black Course."

The reception is being donated by the operators of the catering facility on the property, known as Carlyle on the Green.