When, how gay couples marry in Maine, Maryland, Washington


The Human Rights Campaign, after witnessing a four-state sweep of victories on marriage equality Nov. 6, released a guide on getting hitched in Maine, Maryland and Washington.

Those states legalized same-sex marriage on Election Day while in Minnesota voters rejected an anti-gay constitutional amendment.

In Maine

Mainers passed Question 1, which allows loving same-sex couples to legally marry in the state. The law will take effect 30 days after the governor proclaims the election results, comes about 10 days after the results are confirmed by the secretary of state.

Same-sex couples will follow the same procedures for obtaining licenses in Maine that that straight couples follow. Licenses are obtained from town and city clerks, with the couples applying in person. Out of state residents can get married in Maine.

In Maryland

Marylanders voted to pass Question 6, a referendum allowing same-sex couples to legally marriage. The new law will take effect in Maryland on January 1, 2013.

Maryland requires that a marriage license be obtained from the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in the county where the marriage is to take place. A marriage license is not effective until 6:00 a.m. on the second calendar day after the license is issued and non-residents of the state can marry in Maryland. In fact, the Baltimore tourism bureau has launched a gay wedding campaign.

In Washington

Washington voters approved Referendum 74, which allows loving same-sex couples to legally marry in the state. This law will take effect December 6, 2012.

Licenses are issued at county level.