New York City – A Latina lesbian couple donated the 72-foot tree that stands in the middle of Rockefeller Center this year. The couple has been married six years, according to the New York Times.

Shirley Figueroa said she grew up in the Bronx where there were no trees on her street. Two years ago, she and her wife, Lissette Gutierrez, moved about 30 minutes upstate. They were asked to donate the tree, becoming the first same-sex couple and the first Latinas whose tree stood in the middle of Rockefeller Center for the holidays. “It’s going to be really amazing to be down there and know that the tree came from our yard,” Figueroa told NBC News this week.

Figueroa said Rockefeller Center has been eyeing the 12-ton tree in their yard since before they even moved there. “After we bought the house, the previous owner told us, ‘Hey, by the way, the tree in the yard? Rockefeller Center has been scouting it,’” Figueroa said. “I didn’t believe it. Until they came knocking on the door.” The tree marks the first time in the holiday tradition, which began in the 1930s, that the Rockefeller Center tree has ever been donated by a same-sex or Latino couple. After Christmas, when the tree is taken down, it will be sawed into lumber that will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. (Dallas Voice – David Taffet & The Hill at

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