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Gay American-Dutch Couples Wed in Amsterdam

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On Saturday, in a criticism of the lack of same-sex marriage in the United States, the mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, married 5 American-Dutch gay couples. The ceremony took place on a cruise upon the city's canals during Amsterdam's gay pride festival.

The thing which all five couples had in common was at least one partner was from New York State, where a battle currently rages for the legalization of same-sex marriage.

"For me it's a message to New York, the most liberal state, the most hip state, to get with it," said Ira Siff, an opera professional from New York who got married to fellow opera singer Hans Heijnis Saturday, according to Reuters.

The relationship between New York and Amsterdam celebrates its 400th anniversary this year. The couples' unions are, according to Cohen, "proof of the lasting connection between old and new Amsterdam," during the service.

The unions performed in Amsterdam will be considered marriage by the state of New York, who recognizes gay marriages consecrated in other locations where it is legal.