Gay Couples Ring in 2010 with Nuptials

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New Hampshire has become the fifth U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Fifteen gay couples were among the first to get married at midnight New Year's Eve when the law took effect. Since late December, 40 gay couples have applied for marriage licenses.

The new law grants no new rights to gays, but eliminates the separate status for civil unions.

Same-sex couples can get married, change their union to a marriage or wait until it will be automatically converted in 2011.

New Hampshire joined Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Iowa in allowing gay marriage.

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