Two men were the first to marry Saturday in Portland, Maine as the state's new gay marriage law took effect.

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 midnight.

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 coming.”

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 The win was especially poignant because voters in 2009 had repealed a marriage law approved by lawmakers.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.