On Sunday, hundreds of same sex couples across the city will marry in ceremonies that are legal and binding for the first time in the history of the state.
Among those couples will be Ann Macklin, 42 and Michele Trester, 44, of Forest Hills.
The couple, who started dating in 2001, had a Jewish ceremony in 2005, but are looking forward to finally having their relationship recognized by the state for the first time.
“Ever since we decided to get married, we thought, well, we’d like to get married in New York where we live,” Trester said. “We thought that New York would permit same-sex marriage a lot sooner than now, so we were just waiting for the day and we decided ‘Why not?’”
Trester and Macklin currently live in Forest Hills with their 9-month-old daughter Ruby.
The couple is active in the Congregation Beit Simchat Torah temple in Manhattan, and will be married Sunday by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, who has been a forceful voice for marriage equality. The temple itself is the city’s only LGBT synagogue.
Trester knows first hand how hard the fight has been to secure equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in New York. Multiple times, she visited Albany with the Empire State Pride Agenda to lobby lawmakers in the state capital.
“Even thought we always lost, in 2009 we were really hopeful,” she said. “When it failed we were crestfallen, annoyed and just aggravated that the state legislature could not wrap its mind around granting rights to every family that lives in the state,” she said.
When the measure passed the state legislature this year, Trester said, the result was an “electric” atmosphere at the synagogue and some serious decision making to do.
“We had this very excited, almost bubbly conversation about ‘What do we do?’” she said.
The end result? Trester and Macklin will be officially married by Rabbi Kleinbaum under a rainbow chuppah in Thomas Paine Park downtown on Sunday.
“We just figured, let's go for it, it'll be fun, exciting, it'll be joyous and uplifting, it's a once in a lifetime event,” Trester said. “We want to be a part of it.”