Washington - (NBC) - The District of Columbia's first same-sex weddings will be held Tuesday, marking a new day for gay and lesbian couples in the nation's capitol.
Area businesses are rushing to take advantage of new revenue stream produced by the unions, but couples in the city will still face a federal law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
For Rick Imirowitz and Terrance Heath Tuesday brings wedding jitters.
"I'm excited, a little nervous oddly enough considering we've been together for 10 years," said Heath.
The two live in Chevy Chase, MD with their two adopted children. As of last week, same sex couples could apply for marriage licenses in Washington DC.
After a mandatory waiting period, they can legally tie the knot starting Tuesday.
"I thought it would take a lot longer," Imirowitz commented. "I thought we'd be grandparents before we were allowed to get married."
Resistance to the new law, which was passed in December, continues. Catholic Charities of Washington has trimmed worker benefits to avoid coverage of same-sex couples.
For some couples new rights are the priority.
"If I were to go into a hospital and be in intensive care, Candy would now not be able to be blocked from providing direction for my care," said bride-to-be Rev. Elder Darlene Garner.
Others have a different point.
"A home that's loving and stable and secure with two parents who love each other, who are committed to each other and who married to each other," said Heath.
Many DC businesses expect an economic boost from more marriages.
"There are a lot of small businesses that are really excited about now being able to receive business from same sex couples who are able to legally wed here," Sultan Shakir of Human Rights Campaign said.
Mervis Diamonds, for one, touts its new line of wedding rings.