PORTLAND — 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 for marriage licenses, Snell and Bridges became the first to exchange vows in the city clerk’s office, shortly after midnight.
When asked right after the ceremony whether they felt more married, Snell, who has been with Bridges for nine years, responded, “No, it’s just official.”
Of the 15 couples who obtained licenses early Saturday, six were soon married in City Hall ceremonies performed by city officials or notaries.
Portland was among a handful of cities and towns that planned to open their offices Saturday to issue marriage licenses and perform weddings for same-sex couples – seven weeks after Maine voters approved gay marriage.
On Nov. 6, Maine joined Maryland and Washington as the first states to approve same-sex marriage at the polls. Same-sex marriage is now legal in nine states and Washington, D.C.