Photos: Gay ND couple celebrate wedding vows in Moorhead

Social Issues

1 Justin Metz, left, and Richie DePaolis connect during a homemade dinner of grilled steaks topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms, twice baked potatoes and peas at their West Fargo, N.D., town home. The meal was special for the couple who married in Moorhead a few hours later. Metz tucked a card under DePaolis' dinner plate as a surprise. 
2 Identical boxes hold matching wedding bands in the kitchen of Justin Metz and Richie DePaolis on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. The West Fargo, N.D., residents were among 19 couples married at the Clay County Courthouse shortly after midnight on Thursday. One couple was heterosexual. 
3 Richie DePaolis, left, and Justin Metz take in an evening walk near Rendezvous Park in West Fargo, N.D., on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. The couple walks every evening for close to 45 minutes and Wednesday was no exception. 
4 Justin Metz helps Richie DePaolis, right, with his tie on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at their West Fargo, N.D., townhome. The couple selected colorful shirts with complementary ties to wear for their wedding at the Clay County Courthouse in Moorhead. Same-sex marriage remains banned by constitutional amendment in North Dakota. Metz and DePaolis will be closing on a house in Moorhead in coming weeks. 
5 While enroute to the Clay County Courthouse to participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony with more than a dozen other couples, Justin Metz, left, and Richie DePaolis made time for several stops, including to a Fargo, N.D., neighborhood where they shared their first kiss. Metz and DePaolis currently live in West Fargo, N.D., but they plan to move to Moorhead where their new marriage will be recognized. 
6 Justin Metz and Richie DePaolis were officially couple No. 15 during Clay County's midnight group wedding at the courthouse. In addition to 19 couples, the ceremony was attended by more than 120 invited guests, two judges and media. One couple was heterosexual. 
7 The late hour of a midnight group wedding ceremony for same-sex couples at Clay County Courthouse didn't deter attendance. The court room was packed with standing room only. Justin Metz, center left, and Richie DePaolis, center right, are visible in the background. 
8 A courtroom which served as the location of Clay County's midnight group wedding was packed. 
9 Justin Metz embraces his new husband, Richie DePaolis, moments after being declared married at the Clay County Courthouse "He's very easy to talk to," said Metz. "It's one of the things I really do love about him." Metz and DePaolis, who are both 28, plan to change their last names to DePaolis-Metz. 
10 Justin Metz, left, and Richie DePaolis, right, indulge in a bit of cake after getting married during a midnight group wedding at the Clay County Courthouse in the early morning hours of Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. "We knew pretty early om that it was going to work," said Metz. The couple plans to hold a marriage celebration and reception with family and friends in May 2014. 
11 Well-wishers mingle with newly married couples outside the Clay County Courthouse in the early morning hours of Aug. 1, 2013, after a group ceremony.