Same-sex marriages begin in Rhode Island

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

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

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

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

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


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