New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo marked Sunday's Pride Celebration by performing his first wedding, joining a same-sex couple in marriage in front of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.
The ceremony united Human Rights Campaign staffer David Contreras Turley, 36, and UBS financial analyst Peter Thiede, 35. A crowd cheered after the couple exchanged vows and kissed.
"It's hard to put feelings into words," Turley said, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court had just legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. "Even though we had gay marriage in New York, this feels different. I feel different."
The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" played from speakers outside the Stonewall, a gay bar where riots broke out in 1969 over police harassment of patrons. The city's first Gay Pride March was held in 1970 to commemorate the three days of riots.
"You had a lot of people who were living in fear for many, many years," Cuomo said after the ceremony. "The marriage issue became a proxy for discrimination."
Turley's parents joined the couple and Cuomo on a stage in front of the Stonewall. "We live in California," said Earl Stalder, Turley's father. "At 10 o'clock [a.m. Saturday] I was working in my garage and my wife, Yolanda, said, 'Hey we're going to New York, because the governor is going to marry David.' By noon we were at the airport."
Turley and Thiede have been together for four years, meeting just after Cuomo signed a bill legalizing marriage equality in the state.
Cuomo was granted the legal authority to officiate by a change in state law last week.
Thiede and Turley said they were grateful for all those who had fought for gay rights to make their own nuptials possible.
"For the LGBT who lived and died for us, I'm happy," Turley said.