In Minnesota and Rhode Island, same-sex couples can begin to marry at midnight tonight. Meanwhile, Colorado granted its first same-sex divorce.
Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Minnesota marriage equality bill into law on May 14. Courthouses in Minneapolis, St. Paul and other large cities will be open at midnight tonight to accommodate couples who want to be among the first to take advantage of the new law.
Minneapolis Mayor Ron Stein plans to marry about 40 couples on the first day of marriage equality.
Betty Crocker, based in Minnesota, is donating wedding cakes for the first day of wedding celebrations.
The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., the largest shopping mall in the U.S., will host a wedding on Aug. 1 in its Chapel of Love.
Rhode Island already had civil unions and recognized marriages performed elsewhere. When the civil union bill passed, it satisfied no one. Opponents of the bill wanted no relationship recognition and marriage-equality proponents saw no purpose in getting a civil union when all surrounding states offered marriage.
Now, couples may go to city or town clerks to turn their civil unions into marriages. Other couples are expected to marry beginning Thursday morning.
Rhode Island state Rep. Frank Ferri is planning to marry his partner Tony Caparco. They were married in Canada in 2006, but will remarry on Thursday. House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is also gay, will preside, according to the local NBC affiliate.
Also this week, Colorado granted its first same-sex divorce. Earlier this year, the state passed civil unions. Although same-sex couples can’t marry in Colorado, they can now dissolve marriages from other states.