LI's same-sex couples getting ready to say 'I do' Sunday

RIDGE - Same-sex couples across Long Island are preparing for the big day this coming Sunday when they will be allowed to legally marry.

Steve Hammer and Joe Lobosco, of Ridge, have spent the last 21 years together, but they say getting a New York State marriage certificate would change everything for them.

Hammer and Lobosco will be one of 32 same-sex couples tying the knot in Brookhaven, one of only two Long Island towns issuing marriage licenses on Sunday, when the gay marriage law goes into effect.

Brookhaven Town Clerk Patricia Eddington decided to open up the office on Sunday after being inundated with phone calls. She says it wasn't fair to make couples wait.

The Town of North Hempstead will also be open on Sunday to marry 27 gay couples.

Officials say bringing in extra staff and judges won't cost taxpayers a dime after an anonymous donor offered to pay their wages for the day.

Meanwhile, the federal government still doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, which means that gay spouses are not eligible to inherit each other's Social Security benefits or file joint tax returns.

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