Two men were the first to marry
Saturday in Portland, Maine as the state's new gay marriage law took
Steve Bridges, 42, and Michael Snell,
53, both of Portland, were the first to exchange vows as Portland
began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples at
The couple's wedding party included
Snell's two daughters.
“I'm so excited and happy for Dad and
Steven,” said Carolyn Snell, 25. “This has been a long time
About 300 people cheered loudly as the
newlyweds exited City Hall.
While 15 couples obtained marriage
licenses early Saturday in Portland, only 6 were married at City
Hall. Licenses expire after 90 days.
On November 6, Maine became the first
state to legalize marriage equality at the ballot box. The win was
especially poignant because voters in 2009 had repealed a marriage
law approved by lawmakers.
“This is an amazing day for thousands
of Maine families, and it's an amazing time, because Maine has shown
that voters will support allowing same-sex couples to marry,” David
Farmer spokesman for Mainers United for Marriage, the group which
spearheaded the campaign to approve the issue, told the Press
Herald. “This gives hope and energy to states where voters
have voted the other way.”
“Portland has always been a leader in
promoting equality and a leader opposing discrimination,” Portland
Mayor Michael Brennan said. “Portland voters overwhelmingly
supported the referendum.”
Other cities and towns planned to open
on Saturday to inaugurate the marriage law. Bangor offices were
planning to open for two hours, from 6AM to 8AM.