Massachusetts Issues Gay Marriage Licenses

( [email protected] ) May 17, 2004 09:26 AM EDT

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A huge crowd of gay couples gathered at City Hall in Cambridge, Mass. even before midnight to receive applications for a marriage license. City clerks began handing out marriage-license applications to gay couples this morning just after midnight, making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex unions in the United States.

With some opponents protesting outside, the gay couples were celebrating the day with a giant wedding cake, creating a festive atmosphere at City Hall. Town halls in other Massachusetts cities will follow suit later in the day.

Meanwhile, pro-life groups are preparing for more campaigns to encourage those who are against gay marriage to let their voice heard by supporting constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.