Ringing in 2013 with the freedom to marry

What a way to start 2013! Beginning on Dec. 29, same-sex couples were able to marry in Maine, and in Maryland couples began weddings on Jan. 1.

On Nov. 6, Maine became the first state to allow same-sex couples to receive a marriage license through a popular vote of the people.


James Beckett and Ken Tidd share a kiss after getting married at Bangor City Hall on Saturday. Beckett and Tidd were the first couple to exchange vows in Bangor on December 29. Photo Credit: Kevin Bennett view the entire album here.

Maryland also passed marriage equality on Nov. 6, and weddings began on Jan. 1. In January 2012, Gov. Martin O’Malley gave a speech at our National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, the largest convening of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates in the country, where he talked about the push for marriage equality. O’Malley signed the referendum on Dec. 6, allowing the law to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

Among the first couples to marry in Maryland were Ryan Wilson and Shehan Welihindha, who first met at our National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Detroit in 2008.

RyanPhoto Credit: Equality Maryland

Ryan Wilson and Shehan Wlihindha wed at Baltimore City Hall on Jan. 1. Photo Credit: Equality Maryland

The Task Force was proud to significantly invest in the work of EqualityMaine and Mainers United for Marriage to achieve this victory, read more about our work here. We were also part of the Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition and worked with local equality advocates over the years to secure protections for LGBT people and their families.