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Jennifer Warner and Jackie Youngs in Downtown Brooklyn: “In 2004, we bought rings and went to Central Park.” Warner said. “We were standing there, committed to each other. We always considered ourselves married. When we got legally married, we said it was for practical reasons. But it was so much more than that. We were surrounded by friends and family. We felt recognized, finally — even though we’d considered ourselves married for years.” #gay #LGBT #NYC

Jennifer Warner and Jackie Youngs in Downtown Brooklyn: “In 2004, we bought rings and went to Central Park.” Warner said. “We were standing there, committed to each other. We always considered ourselves married. When we got legally married, we said it was for practical reasons. But it was so much more than that. We were surrounded by friends and family. We felt recognized, finally — even though we’d considered ourselves married for years.” #gay #LGBT #NYC

Juliza and Jennifer Melendez in Bellerose: “I moved to Florida, planning to start a new life there, but then I met Juliza,” Jennifer Melendez said. “We were both from New York. We started out as friends, but it evolved into a very strong love. I was in Florida for less than a year — it was like destiny for me to go there and find her. I finally had met the person that I could spend the rest of my life with. We returned together to our home state, and we’ve been together ever since.”

Juliza and Jennifer Melendez in Bellerose: “I moved to Florida, planning to start a new life there, but then I met Juliza,” Jennifer Melendez said. “We were both from New York. We started out as friends, but it evolved into a very strong love. I was in Florida for less than a year — it was like destiny for me to go there and find her. I finally had met the person that I could spend the rest of my life with. We returned together to our home state, and we’ve been together ever since.”

Craig Shupee and David Holland in Morningside Heights: “We met online,” said Holland. “Craig was living in Dallas and I was living in Chicago. I was on my computer and got a message, ‘Howdy.’ After phone and online chatting, we just knew. I went down to see him, and within 24 hours we had bought rings. Within two months, he was living with me. Since that first weekend together, there’s never been a moment when we thought we made a wrong choice.” #gay #LGBT #NYC

Craig Shupee and David Holland in Morningside Heights: “We met online,” said Holland. “Craig was living in Dallas and I was living in Chicago. I was on my computer and got a message, ‘Howdy.’ After phone and online chatting, we just knew. I went down to see him, and within 24 hours we had bought rings. Within two months, he was living with me. Since that first weekend together, there’s never been a moment when we thought we made a wrong choice.” #gay #LGBT #NYC

Linda Wilkins and Annette Fisher in Coney Island: “We didn’t like each other at first,” Wilkins said. “We played on opposing bowling teams and one day she walked up and said, ‘I’m Annette.’ I thought, ‘So what?’ But then we talked about all the things we didn’t want in a relationship, and we couldn’t stop talking. She invited me over for dinner, and — without even knowing it — cooked my favorite dinner. Now we’ve been together 16 years.

Linda Wilkins and Annette Fisher in Coney Island: “We didn’t like each other at first,” Wilkins said. “We played on opposing bowling teams and one day she walked up and said, ‘I’m Annette.’ I thought, ‘So what?’ But then we talked about all the things we didn’t want in a relationship, and we couldn’t stop talking. She invited me over for dinner, and — without even knowing it — cooked my favorite dinner. Now we’ve been together 16 years.

Pat Dwyer and Stephen Mosher getting affectionate at Coney Island — the location of their eighth wedding. The couple got married eight times to make a statement about marriage equality and filmed the whole thing in the documentary "Married … and Counting" #gay #LGBT #NYC

Pat Dwyer and Stephen Mosher getting affectionate at Coney Island — the location of their eighth wedding. The couple got married eight times to make a statement about marriage equality and filmed the whole thing in the documentary "Married … and Counting" #gay #LGBT #NYC

Rachael Pepe and Lailah Bragin Pepe in Flatbush: “We met seven years ago, but we were both seeing other people,” said Lailah Pepe. “For years and years, we thought about each other. And then we went on a blind date two years ago, and realized who each other was and that we had been thinking about each other for five years. It was kind of fateful and amazing. A year later, Rachael proposed on Fire Island.”

Rachael Pepe and Lailah Bragin Pepe in Flatbush: “We met seven years ago, but we were both seeing other people,” said Lailah Pepe. “For years and years, we thought about each other. And then we went on a blind date two years ago, and realized who each other was and that we had been thinking about each other for five years. It was kind of fateful and amazing. A year later, Rachael proposed on Fire Island.”

Lisa Fane and Maggie Lally in Park Slope: “We knew each other professionally, but we didn’t know each other well,” Lally said. “We started to think about each other, though. And one night I was thinking about Lisa and all of a sudden I saw her on TV, doing media reports. Less than two weeks later, she walked by where I was working and came in to say hi. I gave her a huge hug. I just thought it was meant to be. And we’ve been together since then, for 14 years.”

Lisa Fane and Maggie Lally in Park Slope: “We knew each other professionally, but we didn’t know each other well,” Lally said. “We started to think about each other, though. And one night I was thinking about Lisa and all of a sudden I saw her on TV, doing media reports. Less than two weeks later, she walked by where I was working and came in to say hi. I gave her a huge hug. I just thought it was meant to be. And we’ve been together since then, for 14 years.”

Darryl Wong and Michael Kandel in Douglaston: “I met Darryl in 1985, and I was smitten at first sight,” Kandel said. “We’ve been together for 26 years now. In 2002, we adopted Chloe, but only one of us could legally adopt her. I had to pretend to be heterosexual. The main reason we got married was so that she knows that the state is catching up with our family. It’s really important for children to have their family validated. Plus, she loves being a flower girl.” #gay #LGBT #NYC

Darryl Wong and Michael Kandel in Douglaston: “I met Darryl in 1985, and I was smitten at first sight,” Kandel said. “We’ve been together for 26 years now. In 2002, we adopted Chloe, but only one of us could legally adopt her. I had to pretend to be heterosexual. The main reason we got married was so that she knows that the state is catching up with our family. It’s really important for children to have their family validated. Plus, she loves being a flower girl.” #gay #LGBT #NYC

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