MINNEAPOLIS - Same-sex couples can now apply for Minnesota marriage licenses in some counties under the state's new law allowing gay marriage.
The new, gender-neutral license applications are available Thursday morning in a few of the biggest counties. There's expected to be lines at some service centers in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties.
A Minneapolis couple, together for 11 years, was first in line to get a Hennepin County marriage license.
Jeff Isaacson and Al Giraud arrived at the Hennepin County Government Center around 6 a.m. Thursday. It's the first day gay couples can get marriage licenses in several large Minnesota counties.
Isaacson and Giraud met while living in Florida and moved back to Isaacson's home state of Minnesota in 2005. They said they considered getting married in Iowa when gay marriage became legal there in 2009, but decided to wait until they could do it in Minnesota.
Issacson and Giraud plan to get married immediately when gay marriage is legal starting Aug. 1, but say they'll wait until later in the fall to have a reception for family and friends.
Minnesota's Management and Budget office estimates about 5,000 gay couples will get married in the first year of the new law.
Not every county is making the new licenses available yet. The Forum newspaper in Fargo-Moorhead reports they may not be available in Clay County until sometime in July.
In Hennepin County, the new licenses replace the words "bride" and "groom" with "applicant" for both members of the couple.
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