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Maine’s marriage equality law to go into effect Dec. 29

Marriage equality

By Jacob Combs

Maine’s new marriage equality law, which passed by popular vote during the November election, will go into effect on December 29, GLAD and Equality Maine announced in a press release yesterday.  Gov. Paul LePage ‘proclaimed’ the election results on Thursday, November 29, allowing the law to go into effect 30 days later.

“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.”

Washington will be the first state of three that approved marriage equality in November to allow same-sex couples to wed, with counties offering marriage licenses starting this Thursday, December 6.  According to a press release distributed by a group of Northwest LGBT and legal groups, many counties have made preparations for the day in order to allow easier access to marriage licenses.  King County (which Seattle is a part of) and Thurston County will open clerks’ offices at midnight.  Pierce County offices will open at 6:30 a.m. and Clark and Island counties will open their offices at 8 a.m.  You can follow developments in Washington on Thursday via Twitter using the hashtag #MEDayWA.

As I wrote on Friday, Maryland’s marriage equality law will go into effect on January 1.  Attorney General Doug Gansler issued an opinion last week that Maryland clerks can begin issuing marriage licenses on December 6, although they will not be valid until the first day of the new year.

We’ll be following the first days of equal marriage rights in all three states, and hopefully sharing stories on those exciting days!  If you have a story of your own to tell, please share it with us!

3 Comments

  • 1. grod  |  December 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Maine's 'new equality law' also allows non-resident couples to marry. It also recognizes marriages that are valid in other jurisdiction.

  • 2. Mouse  |  December 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Why is it 30 days from November 29th and not 30 days from the election?

  • 3. davep  |  December 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Different states have different rules about when new laws go into effect after the election, and in Maine it's 30 days after the governor 'proclaims' the election results as being complete, which just happened on November 29th. Standard procedure for Maine, apparently.

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