PHOTO: Bangor Daily News
Maine's new marriage equality law took effect after midnight. The first gay couple to be legally married "took their vows in a short ceremony" in the Portland city clerk’s office at about 12:25AM, reports the Bangor Daily News.
Michael Snell and Steven Bridges were the first in line and had been waiting for almost three hours. The Portland couple has been together for nine years. "We finally feel equal and happy to live in Maine," said Steven Bridges.
Maine, Maryland and Washington made history on November 6 when they became the first states to uphold marriage equality laws at the ballot. The Maine Legislature passed an equal marriage law in May 2009 ... but voters overturned the law later that year.
The state’s marriage license has been amended to reflect "the new gender-neutral nature of Maine marriages," reports the Press Herald.
Among the changes are that a “spouse” option has been added for parties entering marriage, known as "Party A" and "Party B." Until now, applicants had the choice of checking off the “bride” or “groom” boxes.
Same-sex couples can now legally marry in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia. Rhode Island is the only state in New England that does not offer marriage equality.