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Local Euphoria on Day One of NY Same-Sex Marriages

L-R: Pat Pfirmann and Janice Velten, to wed at Molly Bloom in October, Van Bramer, Hendrick, well-wisher Sunnyside Foundation President Dorothy Morehead

July 24, 2011 Staff Report

On the first day of legal marriage for same sex couples in New York State, dozens of elated members of the local community celebrated at Claret Wine Bar on Skillman with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and his partner of 12 years, Dan Hendrick.

Hendrick and Van Bramer held the “Toast,” with champagne and cake as guests spilled out onto the street. Well-wishers joined gay activists and couples to fete “Marriage Equality Day.”

Van Bramer and Hendrick deflected a lot of questions about when they would tie the knot, and one guest joked, “They can’t possible afford to marry now. Everyone in Jimmy’s district expects an invitation. They’d need to rent Citi field.”

Van Bramer and Hendrick met at the organization Van Bramer founded, Gay Pride House. Hendrick is the author of a book on local history, “Jamaica Bay,’ and is Communications Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters. In their joint statement of June 24, they stated, “For too long, gay and lesbian couples like us were forced to live in the shadows. No matter how long we lived together, no matter how much we loved each other, no matter how committed we were to one another.”

The happy mood kept even neighborhood naysayers at a low profile. A local, who is “opposed to gay marriage whether or not it is legal,” said of local lawmakers, “These are nice people. Let them celebrate and get back to work for all of their constituents.”

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Rick Duro

Congrats to Janice! One of my fav people in our great neighborhood! Matilda and I send our love!

To those against the idea of same sex marriage. Let me get this straight (no pun intended), it’s OK for a man/woman to meet tomorrow, get married a few days/weeks/months later, not really having a clue as to what they are getting into, pumping out a kid or two, and, then comes the divorce. That’s ok by you? Think about the concept of marriage as it was first created: arranged in nature, property transfer, dowries, OWNERSHIP of the bride by the groom-where do you think the idea of changing the woman’s last name comes from?

But, two people that have been in love with each other for decades, completely committed to one another in good times and bad, they can’t get married because of their sex?

Do us all a favor, you and your ilk, keep your silly superstitions out of our gov’t. You are right, you aren’t a bigot, you’re just ignorant.
Marriage has been redefined over the years to keep up with society. Well, it has happened again.



Queens in the new etc., – be nice! You and Sartke are sarcastic. And what we have now in NY State, is defining the definition of marriage down. I am glad when people are happy. However, gay unions are not a “marriage”.


@Queens is….

You’re clearly a member of the JVB adoration society. Apparently I offended you and your idol.

Queens is the new Brooklyn is the new Manhattan

How ironic that I’m told to grab a dictionary. As Sartke pointed out, your post definitely didn’t contain satire. It did however contain a corny remark hence my sarcasm and calling you a cornball.


@Queens is….whatever

Get a dictionary, look up words such as joke, humor, satire….

Did your emotional growth stop while you were in the 7th or 8th grade, it’s hard to say for sure.

Queens is the new Brooklyn is the new Manhattan

@ Roger

NOTE: the caption underneath the photo identifies the people in the picture from left to right. What a cornball you are.

Queens is the new Brooklyn is the new Manhattan

Marriage was redefined when arranged marriages ceased. Marriage was redefined again when people started going through a process called a divorce. Marriage was redefined when they invented the prenuptial agreement. If a heterosexual atheist couple can marry, the institution is no longer a religious one, at least not in the eyes of the government and everyone should stop linking the two together. If you’re fine with calling it a civil union then what does it matter if it’s called a marriage? Isn’t this semantics once we realize there isn’t a religious meaning behind this anymore? Nobody will be punished for refusing to sanction a marriage in their respective “faith” either.

Rocky Balboa

I am happy that these couples are happy. However, no child should grow up without either a father or a mother, when possible. Those of us who believe that marriage is a between a man and a woman are not homophobes and we are not bigots. We just believe that redefining marriage is not good for society. Many of us would have accepted some form of domestic partnership or civil union. Those of us who are devout in our faith will be called “bigots” now if we refuse to sanction same sex marriage. In fact, I believe that the words “husband” and “wife” are now removed from New York State marriage licenses.


Where the party for the first Sunnyside gay divorce going to be held?


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