Minnesota and Rhode Island officially became the 12th and 13th U.S. states to recognize same-sex marriage as recently passed laws permitted weddings to begin just after midnight Thursday.
"I didn't expect to cry quite that hard," said a beaming Cathy ten Broeke, who with Margaret Miles was the first gay couple to be wed at City Hall.
After Miles and ten Broeke exchanged vows and rings just before midnight Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak had musicians kill a few minutes until the clock struck 12:01 a.m. Thursday, when the law went into effect.
Then the attending crowd burst into applause as Rybak pronounced Miles and ten Broeke married. The couple stood nearby embracing their 5-year-old son, Louie.
"We do," all three said to more cheers as they promised to be a family.
In Minnesota, 42 couples were expected to be married in the early-morning hours by Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak and several judges of Hennepin County on the steps of City Hall. Weddings were also planned for the Chapel of Love at the Mall of America in suburban Bloomington and St. Paul's Como Park. One group planned a cluster of weddings in a Duluth tavern.
MyFoxTwinCities.com reported that 300 tickets to the Minneapolis City Hall ceremonies were distributed and a special program was held beginning at 10:45 Wednesday evening. Services were expected to continue until 6 a.m. Thursday. Same-sex weddings in Rhode Island were due to begin later in the day.
One of the couples scheduled to tie the knot was Jeff Isaacson and Al Giraud, who have been together for 11 years prior to taking the plunge.
"I keep thinking my 15 minutes of fame will be over soon, and I look forward to the day when people will no longer remember who the first gay couple is or who the first male gay couple is because it won't make a difference anymore," Isaacson told MyFoxTwinCities.com.
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