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Nuptials At Midnight as Gay Marriage Hits Minnesota

  • Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak takes a moment to himself as he prepares for the evening's weddings at City Hall, Wednesday, July 31, 2013 in Minneapolis. Dozens of Minnesota gay couples made last-minute preparations Wednesday for midnight marriages, determined to exchange vows at the earliest possible moment under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jim Gehrz)  MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT

    Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak takes a moment to himself as he prepares for the evening's weddings at City Hall, Wednesday, July 31, 2013 in Minneapolis. Dozens of Minnesota gay couples made last-minute preparations Wednesday for midnight marriages, determined to exchange vows at the earliest possible moment under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jim Gehrz) MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT

  • Surrounded by family and friends, Cathy ten Broeke, right, gets her make-up done by Emily J. Koski in the Presidential Suite of the Hotel Minneapolis in Minneapolis on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Margaret Miles, left, and Cathy ten Broeke will be the first couple to be married by Mayor R.T. Rybak at midnight on Aug. 1, under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Brian Peterson)  MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT

    Surrounded by family and friends, Cathy ten Broeke, right, gets her make-up done by Emily J. Koski in the Presidential Suite of the Hotel Minneapolis in Minneapolis on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Margaret Miles, left, and Cathy ten Broeke will be the first couple to be married by Mayor R.T. Rybak at midnight on Aug. 1, under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Brian Peterson) MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT

  • Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak takes a moment to himself as he prepares for the evening's weddings at City Hall, Wednesday, July 31, 2013 in Minneapolis. Dozens of Minnesota gay couples made last-minute preparations Wednesday for midnight marriages, determined to exchange vows at the earliest possible moment under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jim Gehrz)  MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT
  • Surrounded by family and friends, Cathy ten Broeke, right, gets her make-up done by Emily J. Koski in the Presidential Suite of the Hotel Minneapolis in Minneapolis on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Margaret Miles, left, and Cathy ten Broeke will be the first couple to be married by Mayor R.T. Rybak at midnight on Aug. 1, under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Brian Peterson)  MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT

Minneapolis — Dozens of Minnesota gay couples made last-minute preparations Wednesday for midnight marriages, determined to exchange vows at the earliest possible moment under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage.

Weddings were scheduled to start at the stroke of midnight at Minneapolis City Hall, St. Paul’s Como Park, Mall of America’s Chapel of Love and at county courthouses around the state. One group planned a cluster of weddings in a Duluth tavern.

“I don’t think either of us ever thought we’d see this day,” said Mike Bolin, of the Minneapolis suburb of Richfield, who was marrying Jay Resch, his partner of six years, at Minneapolis City Hall. “We met at low points in both of our lives, and to have arrived at this point — there’s going to be a lot of tears.”

Rhode Island was joining Minnesota today in becoming the 12th and 13th U.S. states to allow gay marriage, along with the District of Columbia. The national gay rights group Freedom to Marry estimates that about 30 percent of the U.S. population now lives in places where gay marriage is legal. The first gay weddings in Rhode Island were planned for later Thursday morning.

In Minnesota, budget officials assessing the impact of the law estimated that about 5,000 gay couples would marry in the first year. Its enactment capped a fast turnabout on the issue in just over two years.

After voters rejected a constitutional ban on gay marriage last fall, the state Legislature this spring moved to make it legal.