A male couple together 41 years were among those marrying as a gay marriage law took effect Thursday in Rhode Island.

Newport resident Federico Santi said that he couldn't believe that he was marrying his longtime partner, John Gacher. Santi and Gacher were already in a civil union.

“We moved here 28 years ago and I can remember coming down here getting a license for our business,” Santi told the AP as the men applied for a marriage license. “And if you told me that 28 years later we'd be standing here getting a marriage certificate, it would have been hard to believe. But, you know, we've been together since 1972, that's a long time. And finally our relationship is being recognized formally by the state, that's a great thing.”

“It's infinitely more significant for all the people who are [coming] after us – young men and women who want to formalize their relationship into a marriage and they'll be able to do it in this state from here on out.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)