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Maine's gay couples wed at midnight Saturday

Maine's same-sex marriage laws have gone into effect, as the state has begun issuing marriage licences.

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Nancy Monahan, right, a retired Coast Guard petty officer, shares a laugh with her wife, Deb Needham, after their wedding at City Hall on December 9, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. December 9th was the first day that same-sex couples can legally wed in Washington state. (David Ryder/AFP/Getty Images)

Maine's gay couples exchanged their vows for the first time since same-sex marriage was legalized in the state in November.

Maine was one of the first states, along with Washington and Maryland, to allow gay and lesbian couples the right to marry by popular vote, NBC News reported.

New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia have also legalized gay marriage, but those laws were brought forth by lawmakers or through court rulings, the Associated Press reported

"It's historic," said Steven Bridges, a retail manager, who wed his partner of nine years, Michael Snell, on Saturday in Portland. "We've waited our entire lives for this." 

Their adult daughters were present for the ceremony. 

""We're paving the way for people to go after us," said Lisa Gorney, who wed her partner Donna Galluzzo Saturday, according to AP. "I think it's just amazing. It's freeing. It's what's right." 

Portland opened its clerk's offices for weddings at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, as did the neighboring town of Falmouth, UPI reported

Augusta, the state capital, Bangor, and Brunswick also made arrangement for special Saturday hours to allow for marriage license applications and weddings, according to UPI. 

Maine's Governor Paul LePage signed the gay marriage bill into law November 29. Same-sex marriages are already legal in Washington state, while Maryland's law goes into effect Tuesday, January 1, 2013, the AP reported

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121229/maines-gay-couples-wed-at-midnight-saturday