May 17, 2012 | by Michael K. Lavers
Lesbian NYC Council speaker prepping for wedding

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A giddy New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn shed some light on her May 19 wedding to her long-time partner during a lower Manhattan press conference on Thursday.

She and Kim Catullo will exchange vows at the Highline Stages in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District before New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, gay New York state Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan) and nearly 300 other guests. The women’s fathers will escort them down the aisle.

The normally loquacious Quinn remained coy about whether Catullo will wear a dress for the wedding. She disclosed that the women will exchange rings, but they will not wear wedding veils. Quinn will use antique clips with two of her late mother’s enamel broaches to pin back her hair during the ceremony.

“She loved jewelry,” she said. “It’ll be nice to have her pins there with us.”

Quinn conceded to reporters who had gathered at City Hall for a press conference about the New York Police Department’s controversial stop and frisk policy that she remains nervous.

“I’m nervous that I’m going to trip on my heels; I’m nervous that the vows are going to stink; I’m nervous that you know Heather will make the dress too tight and I’m not going to be able to sit down and dance,” she said. “I’m nervous that you know we’re going to have seated somebody next to somebody who I didn’t know hated each other—there’s going to be a big drama.”

Quinn also said she will personally oversee wedding preparations until the very last minute.

“The people who are doing the flowers and stuff said; ‘so you’ll just go upstairs, you’ll put your dress on and then you’ll come in and see it for the first time,” she said. “I said, ‘you’ve never really worked with me before. There’s no room in my life I have ever walked into having left all the details to somebody else, so if you think on this day I’m not going to be here in the middle of the afternoon with a clipboard, you’re out of your mind people.’”

The presumptive 2013 mayoral candidate announced her engagement to Catullo, a lawyer, after Cuomo signed New York’s marriage equality bill into law last June.

She said that she and Catullo have received well-wishes from New Yorkers and others beyond the five boroughs who the couple doesn’t know. Quinn declined to say whether she and her soon-to-be-spouse would live in Gracie Mansion if she becomes mayor.

“The law being passed is nice; it’s made people happy,” she said in response to a question about President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s support of nuptials for gays and lesbians. “Times are tough and I just feel like it’s a thing—not me getting married per se, but that more people can get married—it just seems to be making people happy in a really sweet, sweet way. It’s so nice to see… I feel very touched by how many people have gone out of their way… to send us warm wishes and nice hugs.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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