By Rebecca Henely
He waited until he could be married in Queens.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) wed his partner of 13 years, Dan Hendrick, in a ceremony at Long Island City’s Studio Square Saturday night. The marriage makes Van Bramer the second openly gay and the first male Council member to tie the knot since the law making same-sex unions legal went into effect last year.
The happy couple had a private ceremony of 200 people, but released a joint statement the next day thanking family, friends, neighbors and strangers for wishing them well.
“We are overjoyed that so many family and friends witnessed our wedding Saturday night,” they said. “For over 13 years we have been in a committed and loving relationship, yet before marriage equality passed last year, we were denied the right to marry one another.”
Van Bramer represents Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and parts of Maspeth and Astoria. He is one of four openly gay Council members and the second to be married after Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) wed Kim Catullo in May.
Hendrick works as the communications director for the New York League of Conservation Voters and is doing post-production on a documentary about Jamaica Bay.
Hendrick proposed to Van Bramer at the end of last year at a restaurant in Puerto Rico, where they had gone for a political conference. He had previously proposed to Van Bramer in Canada, but Van Bramer had insisted on waiting until same-sex couples could marry in New York, saying he wanted to be married in the borough where he grew up.
Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer married the couple at Studio Square, at 35-33 36th St. in the Dutch Kills section of Long Island City. Van Bramer wore a silver suit with a dark necktie, while Hendrick wore a gray suit with an orange, blue and white bow tie.
The couple will not be taking a honeymoon.
Hendrick and Van Bramer met in 1999 at a Kew Gardens fund-raiser for the Queens Pride House, when Hendrick was an editor at a bond rating agency and Van Bramer worked for the Queens Library.
After their wedding, Hendrick and Van Bramer said they would continue to fight for marriage equality across the country.
“Our happiness at having fulfilled our dream of getting married knows no bounds,” they said. “We are grateful to live in a state and city that recognize that we are equal and should not be discriminated against.”
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4564.