Today marks the exact five year anniversary of when the state of Rhode Island had its first same-sex weddings.

While the famous Obergefell v. Hodges case brought marriage equality to the entirety of the United States of America, the state of Rhode Island legalized gay marriage back in 2013. Then on August 1st of that year, many couples walked down the aisle.

Rhode Islanders are now celebrating the fifth anniversary of their marriages and the trials they went through to get to this point, according to ABC’s Providence Affiliate ABC6.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been five years, both considering how much progress we’ve made, including winning marriage equality across the country, and how much those gains are at risk today, particularly given the national politics around LGBT rights,” said GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (or GLAD) Executive Director Janson Wu to the news source.

“It took over a decade of tireless activism and LGBT people really coming out and telling their stories and sharing their families with all of Rhode Island to get us where we are today,” Wu added.

“Our greatest strengths were our families, were the same-sex couple who had been together for 30 years and had parented three children together, were the mother and father of the gay teenager who just wanted to see a world where their child could get married.”

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Eventually, all of that struggle led to August 1, 2013 when several couples celebrated the right to get married. One such couple was Federico Santi and John Gacher.

According to the Providence Journal, these two went to Newport City Hall on that historic day to change their civil union into a marriage.

The two had been in a civil union since 2011, but changed to a legal marriage as soon as the chance was given. Now, they’ve enjoyed 46 years together and five being legally married.

“We wanted to do it because one could do it. Because it was finally our right to do it,” said Santi.

It’s important to celebrate the milestones and the anniversaries. In a time where the U.S. government, and many others across the globe, are hostile towards LGTBQ people, we must celebrate the profound fact of love and being together.

Congratulations to all the Rhode Island couples celebrating today.

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