Midnight Weddings Commence as Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Official in Maine

Steven Bridges, left, receives a wedding ring from Michael Snell, early Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at City Hall in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Midnight Weddings Commence as Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Official in Maine

Mainers celebrated around the state at the stroke of midnight Saturday, December 29, 2012, when a law legalizing the marriage of same-sex couples went into effect.

Couples congregated at city hall in Portland, ME to be the first of many to be issued marriage licenses under the new law, as a large crowd of supporters cheered in the streets.

"It's historic. We've waited our entire lives for this," said groom Steven Bridges, a retail manager, who's been in a relationship with Michael Snell, a massage therapist, for nine years. The two were the first in line to receive their marriage license. Both wore t-shirts with the words "Love is love" printed on the front.

"We're paving the way for people to go after us. I think it's just amazing. It's freeing. It's what's right," said Donna Galluzzo shortly after marrying longtime partner Lisa Gorney.

Same-sex marriage laws were passed for the first time by popular vote in the states of Maine, Maryland and Washington this past November.

Associated Press reported from the scene:

In Portland, the mood was festive with the crowd cheering and horns sounding at midnight as Bridges and Snell began filling out paperwork in the clerk's office in Portland City Hall. There were free carnation boutonnieres and cupcakes, and a jazz trio played.

Outside, the raucous group that gathered in front of the building cheered Bridges and Snell as if they were rock stars and broke into the Beatles' "All You Need is Love."

In total fourteen couples received marriage licenses over the course of the early morning, five of whom held ceremonies on the spot.

Local production company Knack Factory and Bangor Daily News documented the occasion:

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