Alex Steed of the Bangor Daily News liveblogged the events. Steven Bridges and Michael Snell were the first couple in line to marry at Portland City Hall (via Caroline Cornish):
Well, it’s past midnight and the earth has not ended as we know it because same-sex couples are getting marriage licenses in Maine. Congratulations to all of the couples! (Portland Press Herald):
Michael Snell and Steven Bridges emerged from City Hall early Saturday morning to ecstatic cheers from close to 300 people who gathered to celebrate Maine’s first same-sex weddings. With 15 couples waiting in the city clerk’s office for marriage licenses, Snell and Bridges became the first to exchange vows in the State of Maine Room, shortly after midnight. …The fact that Maine voters have now approved same-sex marriage has national significance, said David Farmer, spokesman for Mainers United for Marriage, the group that led this year’s campaign for gay marriage. “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,” Farmer said Friday night. “This gives hope and energy to states where voters have voted the other way.”
Unlike the few foolish photographers in Maryland who are too uncomfortable with the aesthetics of posing same-sex couples for weddings (as well as “Discover Annapolis” trolley operator Matt Grubbs, who has announced that he will not do business with same-sex couples on religious grounds), businesses in Maine are prepping for new biz and big bucks:
Business owners are hoping to see a rise in demand for such goods and services as legalized gay marriage arrives in Maine later this week, but the impact may take time to build as people plan their events. “I don’t think the floodgates will open and we’ll double our business. But even if it’s a small part of our business, we’re excited to be part of it,” said Dan Kennedy, owner of Harmon’s & Barton’s, Minott’s Flowers and Sawyer & Co. floral shops. In preparing for their Dec. 29 nuptials at Portland City Hall, Donna Galluzzo, 49, and Lisa Gorney, 45, made arrangements with vendors they knew would be supportive of gay weddings. “There’s definitely a factor of not wanting to go to a vendor that would have any issues. The wedding is kind of like coming out again — you never know how people will react,” Galluzzo said. “People have been as openly happy and gracious as they would be for any wedding. Happiness is contagious.”
And finally — oh, damn. I’m rubbing it in again. Should I feel guilty posting this photo of Brian Brown of the National Organization for marriage bawling his eyes out as we celebrate marriage equality in Maine? Um. No.
(Taken after the NY legislature approved marriage equality; Brian’s watching his job security circle the bowl)