The marriage equality bill which passed on June 24, and was signed into law that same night by Governor Cuomo, will go into effect next weekend. Mayor Bloomberg, who had previously put his money where his mouth was in advocating for the bill, went out of his way to make sure that the City Clerk offices will be open that Sunday for the first legal gay nuptials in the state. He's also going out of his way to reward the four Republican Senators who helped support the bill.

Bloomberg, who will personally officiate one of the first gay marriages in the state, has contributed the maximum amount allowed ($10,300) to Republicans Mark Grisanti of Buffalo; Roy McDonald of Saratoga; James Alesi of Rochester and Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie. All four helped ensure the measure passed the Senate 33-29 last month, and a Bloomberg spokesman said his donations were always forthcoming: "The mayor said he would support Senate Republicans who stood up and he did," said Micah Lasher, director of the mayor's Albany office.

The Buffalo News added that Grisanti, a practicing Catholic who had initially opposed gay marriage, but later changed his mind, had pulled in $50,000 from gay marriage advocates after the vote.

Gay marriage couldn't be arriving at a better time for same-sex couples in NYC: according to WNYC, there has been a 27 percent increase in the number of same-sex couples over the last ten years, based on the latest data from the 2010 Census. In case you weren't sure, the biggest amount of those couples live along the west side of Manhattan, from Greenwich Village through Chelsea, Hells Kitchen into Midtown. In one census tract bounded by Sixth and Eighth Avenues and 18th and 22nd streets, 22 percent of all couples were same-sex couples.

Also interesting: gay male couples make up 60 percent of the same-sex couples in the city. However, there are some exceptions in areas: in parts of Park Slope, lesbian couples outnumbered gay male couples.