On Sunday, New York becomes the sixth state where same sex-marriage is legal.
The milestone was achieved in no small part due to the efforts of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, long a vocal advocate of the cause.
Two of Bloomberg's senior aides are gay - and he'll be presiding Sunday when his chief policy adviser, John Feinblatt, and his Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, Jonathan Mintz, get married.
The couple will be among the first to take advantage of the new law, in the morning.
Bloomberg has only officiated at two other weddings -- one was his daughter's, and the other was of his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani.
But he's making another exception, he says, because of his close personal connection to Feinblatt and Mintz and the role they played in personalizing the issue of same-sex marriage for him.
"John and Jonathan are two of the smartest and hardest-working people in our administration," Bloomberg says. "This just felt like the best way for me to say thank you." He says he's "honored to be part of it."
Mintz and Feinblatt have been together 14 years and have two young daughters.
To meet demand from the many same-sex couples wanting to marry on the first day they can in New York, the city is taking the unusual step of opening the City Clerk's office on a day when it would normally be closed.
On "The Early Show on Saturday Morning," Bloomberg, Feinblatt and Mintz talked about the enormity of the day, for themselves and the rights of the entire gay community.
Bloomberg said he's officiating " because I think this sends a message to the world that New York is open to everyone.
"I've always thought America's great strengths include the fact that we treat everybody equally and we that don't impose our religion on anybody else. And, in this case, everybody should have the right to get married, and every religion should have the right to decide what's appropriate within their religion.
"And I think New York has done that, and I'm very proud of the state. The state legislature, the governor, and the speaker of the city council all got together and did what I think the people would want.
"And it's a sentiment, I think, that's growing throughout this country: It's just not the government's business to get involved in your personal life unless there's some overriding compelling public policy purpose. And there's not."
To see the interview, by co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis, click on the video at the top of this story.