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Maine could begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Dec. 29

Monday, December 3, 2012
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AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s same-sex marriage law is expected to take effect on December 29, and it’s likely that that some marriage licenses will be issued on that date, even though it falls on a Saturday.

According to Maine’s Secretary of State’s office, the Nov. 6 certified election results — including the ballot measure that legalized same-sex marriage — were signed off on by Gov. Paul LePage (R) last Thursday. Under Maine statutes, the measures will take effect thirty days afterwards.

In Portland, the state’s largest city, logistics are being considered for offering special hours to ensure couples can get their marriage licenses on the day the new law goes into effect.

There’s no waiting period in Maine, so marriages could take place immediately after the license is issued, according to Kim McLaughlin, president of the Maine Town & City Clerk’s Association.

“The long wait for marriage for same-sex couples in Maine is almost over,” said Betsy Smith, the executive director of EqualityMaine. “Before the end of this year, all loving and committed couples in Maine will be able to stand before their friends, family and community and make a lasting vow to be there for one another.”

On Nov. 6, Maine became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage by a popular vote of the people.

On that same date, voters in Maryland and Washington state approved ballot measure affirming marriage equality laws passed in their respective state legislatures.

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