PORTLAND, Maine — Gay marriage supporters took time Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of the election in which voters gave same-sex couples the right to marry in Maine.
The Rev. Don Rudalevige described the state Wednesday as a symbolic tipping point for same-sex marriage because Maine was one of the first states to pass a law through voter referendum.
Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington state approved gay marriage on Nov. 6, 2012, making them the first states to do so by popular vote. Maine's law went into effect on Dec. 29, with the first marriage licenses and marriages at the stroke of midnight.
Many more, like Sarah Dowling and Linda Wolfe of Freeport, married over the summer.
"As we exited the church, I remember exhaling the breath I had been holding in for all of those 20 years," Dowling said. With that ceremony, her family became recognized "not just emotionally but legally," she said.
According to Maine's Office of Vital Records, 7,405 couples have gotten married in Maine since same-sex marriage became legal on December 29th. Of those, 1,216 listed themselves as same-sex couples.