Maine And Maryland Couples Celebrate Marriage Equality As Laws Take Effect

Over the past week, same-sex couples in Maryland and Maine were able to start wedding as voter-approved laws in both states took effect. Celebrations began in Maine on Saturday and in Maryland New Year’s Day. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake officiated one of the first ceremonies just after midnight, calling the passed referendum “a remarkable achievement” for Maryland. Nine states and the District of Columbia now have full marriage equality.

Not all couples are rushing to get married, however. The Portland Press Herald notes that like opposite-sex couples, many same-sex couples are planning weddings where they can include their friends and family. One Maryland couple is even planning to invite strangers from Reddit to their April ceremony. Still, support was strong for couples who have already been waiting years to obtain legal recognition for their relationship, including a crowd singing “All You Need Is Love” outside the Portland City Hall and cheering on newlyweds early Saturday morning after midnight. This included Steven Bridges and Michael Snell, who were the first Maine couple to be married. Watch clips of their ceremony and the supportive crowd outside: