Politics

December 30, 2012

More than 40 gay couples licensed to wed in Maine

In communities all over the state, same-sex couples obtain licenses to stand for the first time before their friends and family and be able to say: 'We're married!'

By Kelley Bouchard kbouchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

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The first to wed: Michael Snell, left, and Steven Bridges leave Portland City Hall early Saturday after becoming the first gay couple to be married in Maine. The mayor said theirs “may be the most covered marriage” in the state’s history.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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“The world's changing”: Donna Galluzzo, 49, left, and Lisa Gorney, 45, both of Portland, glance back toward friends after tossing a bouquet together shortly after being married early Saturday at Portland City Hall.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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Mahoney married two couples Saturday morning; she usually marries one couple per year.

"It's such an honor to be part of this," she said. "I wasn't so successful in marriage myself, so this is my contribution to the institution."

Mahoney conducted the marriage ceremony for Donaldson and Batt, semi-retired antiques dealers who lived in New York before moving to Maine. After years of keeping their relationship private, neither woman was eager to give her last name for this story.

"A lot of gay people are very quiet," Batt said. "They know there's a lot of animosity toward gay people and so they do what they can to avoid it. Many people don't realize how many gay people there are."

Batt acknowledged that the legalization of marriage in Maine is a clear sign that things are changing and people no longer have to be quiet about whom they love.

"We never thought it would happen," she said.

For Jeff Burdick, 41, and Josh Laton, 37, being able to get married Saturday morning was a matter of good fortune. Both social workers who have been together for 14 years, they moved from Florida to Portland in August when Burdick got a new job.

"It validates our relationship," Laton said. "We're proud to be Mainers. Moving here was the best thing we could have done. We've found such a sense of community and acceptance here."

But the best thing, Laton said, "is being able to call Jeff my husband. After 14 years, boyfriend wasn't right and partner sounds so business-like."

Christine Horne, the city's vital records clerk, married two couples Saturday morning.

"It wasn't any different from marrying heterosexual couples," Horne said. "It was nice, you know, when you see people who love each other. That's what I like."

Staff Writers Tom Bell, Matt Byrne and Beth Quimby contributed to this report.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

kbouchard@pressherald.com

 

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Additional Photos

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The number of well-wishers outside Portland City Hall ballooned just before midnight and the countdown to 12:01 a.m. Saturday, when same-sex marriage became legal in Maine.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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Jamous Lizotte, left, and Steven Jones display copies of their marriage license after they were wed Saturday in a ceremony at Portland City Hall.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Katherine Wilder, 39, left, and Margaret O’Connell, 44, leave Brunswick Town Hall after getting married. They brought their dog Blue along to the ceremony.

Tom Bell/Staff Writer

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Cathy Meaney, 57, and Anne Merrifield, 73, take marriage vows at Brunswick Town Hall on Saturday. Town Councilor Dan Tucker officiated at the wedding. Their friend Elaine Mower of Brunswick was a witness.

Tom Bell/Staff Writer

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Christine Horne, center, a vital records clerk at Portland City Hall, marries Jeff Burdick, left, and Josh Laton at City Hall on Saturday.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Together for 23 years, Laura Minervino, left, and Robin Elliott obtain their marriage license at South Portland City Hall on Saturday. They plan to wed next month.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Becky Roak, left, and Mary Parker get their marriage license Saturday at Brunswick Town Hall. They’re accompanied by their 22-month-old daughter, Grace.

Tom Bell/Staff Writer

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With a new marriage license from South Portland City Hall, Heidi Caton, left, and Julie Nowell planned a wedding ceremony Saturday.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Seth Thayer, left, and Greg Tinder, together for nearly 14 years, were married Saturday morning in an outdoor ceremony in Northport, overlooking Penobscot Bay.

Photo courtesy of Seth Thayer

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Coming to Portland from Augusta to support same-sex couples, Matthew Martin, left, and Russell Vonaa embrace outside City Hall on Saturday.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

  


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