Fifty-four gay couples married in New Hampshire on New Years Day, the first day of legal gay marriage in the state, On Top Magazine has learned.

According to statistics compiled by the state's Division of Vital Records, 37 lesbian couples and 17 gay couples rang in the new year while trading marriage vows.

Most of the marriages performed were conversions from civil unions. Only 10 couples had not previously entered a New Hampshire civil union.

In an email, Stephen Wurtz, acting director of the state's Division of Vital Records, said the state has recognized 809 gay couples in the past 24 months since a civil unions law went into effect. In its first month, January 2008, 174 gay couples tied the knot, but since then the number has steadily decreased, with only195 civil union licenses issued in 2009.

As of December 31, the state no longer offers gay couples the right to enter a civil union. Couples previously joined with a civil union can apply for a conversion to marriage or a new marriage license, but all civil unions will automatically convert to marriages on January 1, 2011.

New Hampshire joins Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont in legalizing gay marriage. Lawmakers in the District of Columbia have approved a gay marriage law expected to take effect in February.

Lawmakers in New Jersey are expected to take a make-or-break vote on a gay marriage bill Thursday.