Minneapolis, MN, United States (4E) – Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak married 42 same-sex couples at city hall while a dozen same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses at Providence City Hall on Thursday as Minnesota and Rhode Island became the latest states to legalize same-sex marriage.
Dozens of other same-sex couples also exchanged I dos in midnight weddings at the Capitol in St. Paul, the Chapel of Love at the Mall of America and other Minnesota cities during Gov. Mark Dayton’s declared “Freedom to Marry Day,” when the law on same-sex marriage takes effect in the Twin Cities state.
Providence City Hall’s Office of Vital Statistics issued a dozen same-sex marriage licenses after it opened at 8:30 a.m. with three couples returning the license after Mayor Angel Taveras married them during the day.
The Minneapolis City Hall was all dressed up with nuptial theme, crowded with guests and in a festive atmosphere when Rybak officiated the wedding of Cathy ten Broeke and Margaret Miles to make the partners for 12 years the first same-sex couple married in the state.
After the first two women were married, the mayor married the first same-male couple, Lars Peterssen and Robert Zimmerman. The newlyweds celebrated in nearby hotels.
City halls and other venues in St. Paul. Duluth and Crookston saw the same dawn scenes.
An estimated 5,000 gay couples are expected to marry in Minnesota this year after the state’s LGBT community waged a two-year campaign to legalize same-sex marriage. Voters’ rejection of a constitutional ban on gay marriage last fall paved way for the state legislature to enact a law legalizing same-sex union this spring.
In Rhode Island, Federico Santi and John Gacher, who have been together for 41 years, got married right after the Newport City Clerk’s office opened at 8:30 a.m., according to KSTP. Zachary Marcus and Greg McDowell were the first same-sex couple to be married in Providence.
Cranston couple Royce Kilbourn and Karl Staatz were the first couple to pick up their marriage license at the city clerk’s office. They plan to marry later this month.