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Maine Gay Marriage Law Effective Dec. 29

PORTLAND, Maine (AP)—Maine’s voter-approved same-sex marriage law is going into effect on Dec. 29, and there’s a possibility that some marriage licenses can be issued even though the date falls on a Saturday.

The state’s largest city is reviewing whether it can keep special hours to ensure couples can get licenses on the day the law goes into effect. “There are a number of logistical factors that need to get worked out first,” said Nicole Clegg, spokeswoman for the city of Portland.

Kim McLaughlin, president of the Maine Town & City Clerk’s Association, said she’s received assurances that updated paperwork will be ready so marriage certificates can be issued.

There’s no waiting period in Maine, so marriages could take place immediately after the license is issued, said McLaughlin, who’s the clerk in Old Orchard Beach.

“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.”

Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington approved laws Nov. 6 legalizing same-sex marriage. Gay marriage is already legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage signed off on the certified election results on Nov. 29, so the new law goes into effect 30 days from that date.

The state’s office of vital records and statistics is responsible for creating the new forms, which will feature revised wording.

The actual wording and changes to the forms are still being worked out, but the forms will be available to town and city clerks by Dec. 29, John Martins, spokesman for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in Augusta, said on Monday.

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