2/15/2012 12:59 PM

Heterosexual couples have been able to get married on top of the Empire State building for nearly twenty years, but yesterday marked the first time same-sex couples were able to enjoy the same privilege.

Steph Figarelle and Lela McArthur, of Alaska, and Phil Fung and Shawn Klein, of New York, were two of four total couples selected to marry on top of New York’s iconic landmark. The newly-weds are among the estimated 63,000 gay couples expected to marry in New York within the next three years. 

"We just thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to get married on top of the Empire State building, especially since it is the first year that gay marriage is allowed," Fung said after marrying Klein, his partner of 18 years.

Figarelle and McArthur were also thrilled about tying the knot at the 102-story landmark. 

“The Empire State Building to us in Alaska is like going to Egypt to look at the pyramids. That's what makes it special," Figarelle said.

Both couples, who were selected from hundreds of applicants, received a customized wedding, a gown, and tuxedo, and two-night stay at New York’s Pierre Hotel as part of their winnings.

"It stands for many things,” Figarelle said of the wedding. “Getting married there sets the tone for our lives together."

Source: Reuters

Photo: Empire State Building Company

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