Alysia Gradney wiped back tears while signing the marriage license as a witness at Dobbs Ferry Town Hall. "I'm just so happy for you," she told her friends Jennifer Leigh Griffith and Karen Devina Hosha Naimool as they stood at her side.
Moments earlier, Mayor Hartley Connett presided over the same sex wedding of town residents Griffith and Naimool before a small gathering of family and friends in the town courtroom.
The ceremony was the first in the village since the passed in 2011. Following the exchanges of vows and rings, Mayor Connett pronounced them married. The couple kissed and Griffith raised her arms in the air and let out a "whoo-hoo!"
Jennifer told Patch that she and Karen met through a mutual friend in Atlanta, "who worked tirelessly to set them up for over a year. Jenni had very little time for herself and would spend her days working hard rushing from job to job and then to school, while her nights were all for her son, Jadon. Karen worked with inner-city youth in Atlanta and spent many weekends in the woods in Georgia teaching the children outdoor skills. Finally, the two met at in 2007 at a New Year's Eve party in Atlanta, GA and immediately hit it off.
"Now, Karen, Jenni, Jadon, and their rescue dog, Max, are a happy little family. They believe that their family thrives because of their focus on Love, Respect and Play."
Jennifer is the Program Manager for the Consortium of NY Geriatric Education Centers in New York, NY at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. She is a doctoral student at Fordham University, Graduate School of Social Services studying social welfare policy and gerontology. She received a master's degree in gerontology from Georgia State University.
Karen is the Connects Program Coordinator for the Children's Village in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.
Karen is active is SALGA (South Asian Gay and Lesbian Association) working to bring visibility to the South Asian LGBT community and provide a support network. Jenni is involved with advocacy and education for LGBT older adults at the LOFT LGBT Community Center in White Plains, NY.