Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd made history Sunday as the first same-sex couple to wed under New York’s new marriage equality law.
Lambert (54) and Cheryle (53) have been together twelve years down to the day of their wedding, and have five children and 14 grandchildren between them. Lambert manages an art gallery and is a prominent LGBT rights activist, Rudd works on a factory assembly line.
They met under unusual circumstances: ”We ended up together because our partners were having an affair with each other,” Lambert said in a pre-wedding interview with the Village Voice. “So we went out to laugh about it and have a drink and commiserate. And we found out it was the most wonderful thing that they cheated with each other, because we were so better suited to each other. It was a God kind of thing.”
And they have lasted the years, even battling through several health scares.
Speaking before the ceremony, the two women recognized the symbolism of the moment.
“I may be the first person standing here in history,” Ms. Lambert said, “but I’m just an ordinary grandma.” She added, “This is one of the most incredible moments of my personal life, but it’s also an incredible moment for New York.”
They moved to Buffalo in 2004, and they credit their strong bond with helping them through three heart attacks (Ms. Lambert’s) and cervical and thyroid cancer (Ms. Rudd’s).
“The best part of my life with Cheryle is everything has been an adventure,” Ms. Lambert said.
As she prepared to walk to the stage for the spiritual ceremony, Ms. Lambert, crying, looked to the sky and said, “Mom and dad, you got me this far, and now I’m getting married.”
Below you can watch the moment the bell tolled twelve, the law came into effect, and stood before the Niagra Falls — which at one point was transformed into a liquid rainbow — the couple was pronounced married:
Congratulations to the hundreds of New York couples who were married Sunday, and to all those who will marry in the coming months and years.