Same-Sex Marriage Begins In RI

August 1, 2013 4:36 PM
Same-Sex Marriage Begins In RI
" PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Same-sex marriages began in Rhode Island on Thursday, as local officials for the first time issued marriage licenses to gay couples who wish to wed in the state.

Gay marriage became legal in Rhode Island and Minnesota at 12:01 a.m., bringing the number of states allowing same-sex marriage to 13.

Kent Stetson and Luis Astudillo were among the first same-sex couples in Rhode Island to tie the knot, obtaining a marriage license minutes after Providence City Hall opened at 8:30. Shortly afterward, they were married on a downtown street where they took a memorable walk on their first date 12 years ago. A friend presided over the low-key ceremony.

“We are securing our rights today. We would have been married years ago if we could,” said Stetson, a 34-year-old handbag designer.

Astudillo, a 47-year-old teacher, added: “I thought it would be like an errand today. But I’m a little nervous — and excited.”

In Newport, a couple that have been together for 41 years, Federico Santi and John Gacher, were previously joined in a civil union, so they were immediately married Thursday after getting their license "

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