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Making History, Rye Couple Weds on First Day for NY Same-Sex Marriages

The couple tied the knot (again) during a short ceremony in Rye.

It took three wedding ceremonies, but Rye couple Chris Fraley and Victor Self are now legally husband and husband.

Fraley, 42, and Self, 41, married Sunday afternoon in a civil ceremony inside Rye’s 911 memorial gazebo in front of about 20 family members and friends, likely becoming the first same-sex couple to wed in the area’s more than 350-year history.

The couple, who began dating in 2003, previously pledged their lifelong commitment to each other during a civil ceremony in St. Barts and another ceremony in South Africa. But on Sunday—the first day same-sex marriage became legal in New York—the couple again said marriage vows. 

Fraley and Self were the first couple to pick up their marriage license in Greenburgh, the only municipality in Westchester that opened on Sunday to mark the historic occasion. Fourteen other same-sex couples also received marriage licenses in Greenburgh on Sunday, and 11 of them planned to marry that day.

The couple told Patch earlier this week that it was important for them to get married on the first day same-sex marriage was legal because they wanted to celebrate the historic day— and after two weddings and eight years together, they didn’t see any reason to wait.

“We've waited long enough," Self said this week. "We feel it's very important for couples to seize the moment and act immediately so that people understand the impact of the [Marriage Equality Act]”

Perhaps because it was only a formality (and because of the 80-plus degree weather), Fraley and Self’s ceremony was casual and quick. Both men wore white button-down shirts, with Self wearing shorts and Fraley wearing khakis. The couple got married with their 17-month-old daughter, Coco, and dog, NeNe, by their side. 

“NeNe has been to one of our weddings before. Coco hasn’t,” Fraley joked just before the ceremony began. 

The ceremony lasted less than seven minutes, with the couple exchanging the same traditional vows that millions of straight couples have said since time immemorial, pledging to “love, honor, and cherish” one another “through sickness and health, in good times and in bad.”

Susan Morison, the marriage officer for the City of Rye, performed the wedding. While officiating the ceremony, she told the couple to remember that “love is the impetus for marriage. Trust is the foundation on which you build your marriage. Understanding, acceptance, laughter, friendship and passion are the fabric of your marriage. When you have all these, yours will be an everlasting union.”

After Fraley and Self said their vows, Morison declared them “husband and husband.”

Morison said after the ceremony that it was the first same-sex couple she had married in Rye. She said no other gay couples have contacted her yet to perform ceremonies.

“I’m happy to do it,” she said of officiating the weddings.

After the ceremony, Fraley and Self celebrated their marriage with a reception at Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse in Rye. Fraley said that it has been a long journey to becoming legally wed.

“It feels incredible,” he said. “It feels like I just ran a marathon.”

Gary Porto July 25, 2011 at 06:14 AM
Congratulations Chris and Victor...hopefully Ruben and I will be joining you soon!
Me July 25, 2011 at 12:14 PM
What a wonderful story and beautiful pictures -It is about time that all people have the same legal ability to express their love, affection and committment to each other! Much happiness to Chris and Victor and little Coco who can stand up with Pride and say these are my Dads!
Francis T McVetty July 29, 2011 at 05:40 PM
This is what God wanted? Are you serious?
Meredith Lesly July 29, 2011 at 07:27 PM
No, "lois" isn't serious. This is what's called "trolling", which is posting something just to get a reaction.
Francis T McVetty July 29, 2011 at 10:12 PM
Me, I guess little Coco who can now stand up with Pride and say these are my Dads, couldn't do that before.

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