August 1, 2013

Same-sex marriage begins in Rhode Island

New England states now united in embrace of same-sex marriage.

By DAVID KLEPPER/The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Same-sex marriages have begun in Rhode Island, and local officials are for the first time issuing marriage licenses to gay couples who wish to marry in the state.

On Monday, July 29, John Gacher, 61, left, and Federico Santi, 66, right, both of Newport , R.I., in front of a garden shed at their home. The couple planned to turn their civil union into a marriage Thursday morning at Newport City Hall. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

AP

Gay marriage became legal in Rhode Island and Minnesota on Thursday at 12:01 a.m.

Officials around the state began issuing licenses when offices opened at 8:30 a.m., including in Newport.

In Newport, a couple that has been together for 41 years, Federico Santi and John Gacher, arrived first thing at the clerk's office. They had previously been joined in a civil union, so they were immediately married after getting their license.

Newport City Clerk Kathleen Silvia, calls Thursday "a day of smooching" in Rhode Island.

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