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WASHINGTON (AFP) – Gay and lesbian couples in Rhode Island and Minnesota began tying the knot as same-sex marriage laws in the two states went into effect.

Minnesota became the 13th U.S. state to legalize same-sex weddings, just an hour after Rhode Island, in a different time zone, became the 12th.

Same-sex couples in Minnesota began getting hitched in ceremonies conducted throughout the night at Minneapolis City Hall, local media reports said.

Mayor R.T. Rybak officiated at 42 weddings of gay and lesbian couples as same-sex marriage became legal in the state at the stroke of midnight.

In historic rulings in June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law denying federal benefits to homosexual couples and cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

Support for same-sex marriage in the United States is at record levels according to recent surveys.

A USA Today poll last month reported 55 percent of participants said they believed same-sex marriage should be recognized as valid.

Photo Credit: AFP/Robyn Beck

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.