Gay and lesbian couples in Maryland
rang in the New Year with wedding bells.
Maryland's marriage law was the third
and last to take effect on midnight after winning voter approval in
November. Couples began marrying in Washington state on December 9
and in Maine
Among the first to take advantage of
the law were Sabrina Pettis, a member of the Maryland National Guard,
and Natasha. The couple married at an Annapolis church at 12:01AM on
Tuesday, the Washington Blade reported. At least four gay
couples exchanged vows in Cumberland, as well.
Baltimore City Hall opened its doors at
12:30AM to host the weddings of seven couples.
The first to marry were Baltimore
mayoral aide Jim Scales, 68, and his partner of 35 years Bill
Taskers, 60. (A video report is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Ian Brennan, press secretary for Mayor
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said the mayor agreed to officiate over
Tasker's wedding because “She wanted to make a statement to tell
gay, lesbian, transgendered couples that they're welcome here.”
“It is a remarkable achievement for
Maryland,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake told WBAL.
“And we are excited to open City Hall to host some of the first
wedding ceremonies in our great state.”