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Town Holds First Same-Sex Marriage

Theresa Claudio and Nancy Zaharick, both of Mastic, were married by the Riverhead town clerk in a simple ceremony Thursday afternoon.

After decades of waiting, Theresa Claudio and Nancy Zaharick exchanged vows on Thursday afternoon shortly before 1 p.m., becoming the first same-sex couple to be married by the Town of Riverhead since New York State allowing for same-sex marriage in June.

"It's overwhelming," Zaharick said after the wedding.

The simple ceremony was held on the front lawn of town hall, with reading the vows declaring the two Mastic women as "lawfully wedded partners."

The couple had been together for 22 years, after a mutual friend set them up on a date. 

"It's a lot of relief for us," Claudio said.

"And it's good to be recognized," Zaharick added. 

Zaharick's mother and sister attended the wedding, along with one of the couple's three dogs, Bandit. The 3-year-old toy poodle was the ringbearer, carrying the rings on his collar while dressed in a tiny tuxedo.

The couple plans on going on a honeymoon sometime in the future, but will go out for dinner with family to celebrate in the meantime.

Heidi Perry-Hipp July 28, 2011 at 06:26 PM
Amazing! YAY! Congrats to you both!
Dawn Betke July 28, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Congratulations!

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