The Northern Westchester Examiner

Ossining Mayor Marries in Historic Ceremony

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The Rev. Lynda Clements marries Alan Stahl, left, and Ossining Mayor William Hanauer at Sparta Park on Sunday.
The Rev. Lynda Clements marries Alan Stahl, left, and Ossining Mayor William Hanauer at Sparta Park on Sunday.

Ossining Mayor William Hanauer married his longtime partner of nearly 40 years Saturday in the village’s Sparta Park — a quiet ceremony that made history.

Hanauer was the first openly gay mayor to marry since New York legalized same-sex marriage about 11 months ago. Hanauer and his husband, Alan Stahl, will celebrate 38 years together on June 18.

Other high-ranking gay elected officials — like New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and New York State Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell — have wed, but Hanauer is the first mayor to do so.

The mayor said Stahl pressed him to begin planning the wedding almost as soon as same-sex marriage was legalized.

“The minute it passed, he turned to me and said, ‘Set the date,’ ” he said.

The couple is delaying their honeymoon due to Hanauer’s November reelection battle and the drafting of the Ossining village budget, but the pair plans to travel to France together in December when Stahl, the curator of numismatics at Princeton University, gives a talk at the Louvre.

The ceremony was presided over by the Rev. Lynda Clements, who leads the First Presbyterian Church in Ossining and has been a friend of the couple for about six years.

Clements told the crowd Saturday’s ceremony would begin a new journey for Hanauer and Stahl but also “honor and celebrate what you have already been for each other in these 38 years.”

When Clements pronounced the pair as legal husbands “at last,” the crowd whooped and cheered as the minister prompted Hanauer and Stahl with a tart “Why don’t you kiss each other?”

Clements said Hanauer and Stahl had worked with her for about three months to design the ceremony and had drafted much of its text themselves.

Following the religious ceremony, Hanauer serenaded Stahl with the Gershwin song, “Love is Sweeping the Country.”

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) was among the wedding’s attendees and said she was personally very happy to witness the nuptials, given her vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Albany.

“I just think it’s a very special day for the mayor, Bill, and his partner, Alan, and for the community,” she said. “It’s very special that we do have a law now and that people are indeed deciding that they want to make this decision.”

Addressing a group of reporters who gathered after the ceremony, Stahl said the pair’s rings are “a new version of the rings we’ve been wearing for 13 years, since our 25th anniversary.”

Yvonne and Edward Siclari, of Oldbridge, N.J., said they’ve known Hanauer for 42 years and couldn’t be happier for him and Stahl.

Hanauer introduced them, Edward Siclari said, and he and Yvonne have now been married for nearly 35 years.

“He’s a good man, and so is Alan — very good people,” he said. “He’s one of our oldest friends, very loyal. He’s a decent person and one of the best people I know.”

Yvonne Siclari said she and her husband were thrilled to be able to witness the wedding.

“[Bill] made my wedding gown,” she said. “It’s just exciting and wonderful [to be here], very meaningful.”

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