Tag Archives: Maine

Maine’s leading gubernatorial candidate comes out as gay

If successful in his bid to become Maine’s next governor, U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud would become the first out candidate ever elected to serve as chief executive of a state.

Michaud came out as gay in a column that he released to three of Maine’s major news outlets this morning.

Michaud said that he acted in response to “whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls” about his personal life. His goal, he said, was to respond “with a simple, honest answer.”

“For me, it’s just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation mill worker or a lifelong Mainer,” Michaud wrote to news outlets. “One thing I do know is that it has nothing to do with my ability to lead the state of Maine.”

“I don’t plan to make my personal life or my opponents’ personal lives an issue in this campaign. We’ve had enough negativity in our politics and too many personal attacks over the last few years. We owe it to the people of Maine to focus on how we get our state back on track.”

Michaud, a six-term Democratic Congressman, has been leading in the three-way gubernatorial race against incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent candidate Eliot Cutler, according to polls.

Former President George H.W. Bush a witness at same-sex wedding in Maine

Former President George H.W. Bush was an official witness at the same-sex wedding of two longtime friends, according to an ABC News report.

Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, attended the ceremony for Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen on Sept. 21, spokesman Jim McGrath told ABC News. The former president signed the marriage license as a witness.

The AP reported that Bush was seated in a wheelchair, with a stack of papers on his lap and his left hand poised with a pen in a photograph of the occasion. One bright red sock and one bright blue one peek out below the cuffs of his blue slacks.

The 41st president has deep ties to the area where Thorgalsen and Clement own a general store called HB Provisions.

“This has been a wonderful wedding experience for us and we were honored to have President and Mrs. Bush not only in attendance but also happy to sign our license,” Thorgalsen, who is with her wife on their honeymoon in London, told ABC News.

“As Nancy Sosa, our officiant, said, ‘God did not make a love that is wrong.’ If we can make a difference in the world with our wedding and marriage, we are thrilled,” she added, according to the ABC news report.

One of Bush’s sons, former President George W. Bush, opposed same-sex marriage and in 2004 announced his support for a proposed federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. His wife, Laura Bush, and their daughter Barbara Bush support gay marriage, as does his former vice president, Dick Cheney.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016, has said same-sex marriage is an issue best left to the states to decide.

PHOTO: Former President George H.W. Bush at the wedding of Helen Thorgalsen and Bonnie Clement. Courtesy: Facebook/Helen Thorgalsen

Baldwin, Pocan introduce domestic partner benefits bills

U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, and Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, have introduced a bill to extend employee benefit programs to cover the same-sex domestic partners of federal employees to the same extent as those benefits cover legally married spouses of federal employees.

The measure is titled the “Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2013” and, according to a news release, it would put the federal government on par with a majority of Fortune 500 companies.

“We’ve made great progress for committed, same-sex couples in America, but we still have work to do to move freedom and fairness forward,” Baldwin, America’s first openly gay or lesbian senator, said in a statement. “This bill helps provide federal employees and their domestic partners equal access and opportunity to the benefits that businesses across our country are already providing. It’s time for the federal government to lead as an equal opportunity employer and I’m proud to work across the aisle with Senator Collins to advance that leadership.”

Collins, in the release, said, “This change is both fair policy and good business practice. The federal government must compete with the private sector when it comes to attracting the most qualified, skilled, and dedicated employees. Among Fortune 500 companies, for example, domestic partner benefits are commonplace. According to the Office of Personnel Management, nearly 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies, including some of our top federal contractors, extend employment benefits to domestic partners.”

A growing number of U.S. corporations, as well as state and local governments and educational institutions, have extended employee benefit programs to include domestic partners.

Nearly 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer health benefits to employees’ domestic partners and more than 8,000 private-sector companies make such benefits available to employees’ domestic partners, as do the governments of 18 states and at least 150 cities and towns, according to the senators’ offices.

Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan, who is openly gay, has introduced companion legislation in the House, along with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida, and Gerry Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia.

Pocan, who co-chairs the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, said, “In a year of milestones for the equality movement, the federal government must continue to lead and ensure equal rights and benefits for all its civil servants. Passage of our bipartisan legislation will remove discriminatory practices that punish certain federal employees merely for whom they love and where they live. As the private sector has shown, policies that promote equality are not only the right thing to do, they also allow you to compete for the best and brightest employees.”

Ros-Lehtinen, who co-founded the caucus and who has tried to lead her party toward supporting LGBT equality, said, “The federal government still has much work to do. This is why my colleagues and I will present this bipartisan bill to ensure that employees in same-sex domestic partnerships have the same rights and protections as heterosexual couples.”

Connolly, in a news release, added, “I often hear that the federal government should be run more like a business. Well, from Boeing to GE, America’s leading companies have spoken loud and clear in recognizing that no organization can remain competitive in terms of attracting and retaining great talent while discriminating against same-sex couples.”

Under the legislation, a federal employee and his or her same-sex domestic partner would be eligible to participate in federal retirement, life insurance, health, workers’ compensation and Family and Medical Leave benefits to the same extent as married employees and their spouses. Such employees and their domestic partners would likewise assume the same obligations as those that apply to married employees and their spouses, such as anti-nepotism rules and financial disclosure requirements. 

Baldwin first co-sponsored the bill in the House of Representatives in 1999 and served as the lead House Democrat on the bill from 2007-2012, before leading the effort in the Senate.

The Obama administration already is moving to make sure that gay and lesbian federal employees who are married receive equal benefits, but in many states federal employees cannot marry a same-sex partner. The bill only applies to federal employees working in states where marriage equality is not recognized.

Anti-gay-marriage group fights to keep donors a secret

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hear arguments this week on a national anti-gay-marriage group’s efforts to keep its donor list confidential.

The National Organization for Marriage is appealing a Superior Court judge’s decision refusing to vacate subpoenas issued by the Maine Ethics Commission demanding the names of NOM’s donors in a 2009 gay marriage referendum.

Voters that year overturned a law passed by legislators allowing same-sex marriage in Maine. The National Organization for Marriage donated about $1.9 million in the campaign.

Maine’s campaign disclosure law requires groups that raise or spend more than $5,000 to influence elections to register and disclose donors. NOM says the identities of its donors are shielded by the First Amendment.

Oral arguments before Maine’s high court are scheduled for April 11 in Portland.

Wedding bells ring for gay couples in Maryland

Same-sex couples in Maryland were greeted with cheers and noisemakers held over from New Year’s Eve parties, as gay marriage became legal in the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line on New Year’s Day.

James Scales, 68, was married to William Tasker, 60, on Jan. 1 shortly after midnight by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake inside City Hall.

“It’s just so hard to believe it’s happening,” Scales said shortly before marrying his partner of 35 years.

Six other same-sex couples also were being married at City Hall. Ceremonies were taking place in other parts of the state as well.

The ceremonies follow a legislative fight that pitted Gov. Martin O’Malley against leaders of his Catholic faith. Voters in the state, founded by Catholics in the 17th century, sealed the change by approving a November ballot question.

“There is no human institution more sacred than that of the one that you are about to form,” Rawlings-Blake said during the brief ceremony. “True marriage, true marriage, is the dearest of all earthly relationships.”

Brigitte Ronnett, who also was married, said she hopes one day to see full federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Maryland, Maine and Washington state were the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote, in November, a development Ronnett said was significant.

“I think it’s a great sign when you see that popular opinion is now in favor of this,” said Ronnett, 51, who married Lisa Walther, 51, at City Hall.

Same-sex couples in Maryland have been able to get marriage licenses since Dec. 6, but they did not take effect until Tuesday.

In 2011, same-sex marriage legislation passed in the state Senate but stalled in the House of Delegates. O’Malley hadn’t made the issue a key part of his 2011 legislative agenda, but indicated that summer that he was considering backing a measure similar to New York’s law, which includes exemptions for religious organizations.

Shortly after, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore wrote to O’Malley that same-sex marriage went against the governor’s faith.

“As advocates for the truths we are compelled to uphold, we speak with equal intensity and urgency in opposition to your promoting a goal that so deeply conflicts with your faith, not to mention the best interests of our society,” wrote O’Brien, who served as archbishop of the nation’s first diocese from October 2007 to August 2011.

The governor was not persuaded. He held a news conference in July 2011 to announce that he would make same-sex marriage a priority in the 2012 legislative session. He wrote back to the archbishop that “when shortcomings in our laws bring about a result that is unjust, I have a public obligation to try to change that injustice.”

The measure, with exemptions for religious organizations that choose not to marry gay couples, passed the House of Delegates in February in a close vote. O’Malley signed it in March. Opponents then gathered enough signatures to put the bill to a statewide vote, and it passed with 52 percent in favor.

In total, nine states and the District of Columbia have approved same-sex marriage. The other states are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

Maryland gay couples marry at midnight

Same-sex couples in Maryland were greeted with cheers and noisemakers held over from New Year’s Eve parties, as gay marriage became legal in the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line on New Year’s Day.

James Scales, 68, was married to William Tasker, 60, on Jan. 1 shortly after midnight by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake inside City Hall.

“It’s just so hard to believe it’s happening,” Scales said shortly before marrying his partner of 35 years.

Six other same-sex couples also were being married at City Hall. Ceremonies were taking place in other parts of the state as well.

The ceremonies follow a legislative fight that pitted Gov. Martin O’Malley against leaders of his Catholic faith. Voters in the state, founded by Catholics in the 17th century, sealed the change by approving a November ballot question.

“There is no human institution more sacred than that of the one that you are about to form,” Rawlings-Blake said during the brief ceremony. “True marriage, true marriage, is the dearest of all earthly relationships.”

Brigitte Ronnett, who also was married, said she hopes one day to see full federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Maryland, Maine and Washington state were the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote, in November, a development Ronnett said was significant.

“I think it’s a great sign when you see that popular opinion is now in favor of this,” said Ronnett, 51, who married Lisa Walther, 51, at City Hall.

Same-sex couples in Maryland have been able to get marriage licenses since Dec. 6, but they did not take effect until Tuesday.

In 2011, same-sex marriage legislation passed in the state Senate but stalled in the House of Delegates. O’Malley hadn’t made the issue a key part of his 2011 legislative agenda, but indicated that summer that he was considering backing a measure similar to New York’s law, which includes exemptions for religious organizations.

Shortly after, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore wrote to O’Malley that same-sex marriage went against the governor’s faith.

“As advocates for the truths we are compelled to uphold, we speak with equal intensity and urgency in opposition to your promoting a goal that so deeply conflicts with your faith, not to mention the best interests of our society,” wrote O’Brien, who served as archbishop of the nation’s first diocese from October 2007 to August 2011.

The governor was not persuaded. He held a news conference in July 2011 to announce that he would make same-sex marriage a priority in the 2012 legislative session. He wrote back to the archbishop that “when shortcomings in our laws bring about a result that is unjust, I have a public obligation to try to change that injustice.”

The measure, with exemptions for religious organizations that choose not to marry gay couples, passed the House of Delegates in February in a close vote. O’Malley signed it in March. Opponents then gathered enough signatures to put the bill to a statewide vote, and it passed with 52 percent in favor.

In total, nine states and the District of Columbia have approved same-sex marriage. The other states are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

Gay weddings began at midnight in Maine

Arriving in a limo, Donna Galluzzo and Lisa Gorney had all the trappings of a traditional wedding: Rings, flowers, wedding vows, an entourage and a friend to officiate. With tears in their eyes, they were among the first gay couples to exchange wedding vows early Dec. 29 after Maine’s same-sex marriage law went into effect at midnight.

“We’re paving the way for people to go after us. I think it’s just amazing. It’s freeing. It’s what’s right,” an emotionally drained Gorney said after their ceremony in front of City Hall.

After waiting years and seeing marriage rights nearly awarded and then retracted, gay couples in Maine’s largest city didn’t have to wait a moment longer than necessary to wed, with licenses issued at the stroke of midnight as the law went into effect.

Steven Bridges and Michael Snell were the first in line, and they received cheers from more than 200 people waiting outside after they wed in the clerk’s office.

“It’s historic. We’ve waited our entire lives for this,” said Bridges, a retail manager, who’s been in a relationship with the Snell, a massage therapist, for nine years. Bridges, 42, and Snell, 53, wore lavender and purple carnations on black T-shirts with the words “Love is love.”

Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington state approved gay marriage in November, making them the first states to do so by popular vote. Gay marriage already was legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia, but those laws were either enacted by lawmakers or through court rulings.

In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage signed off on the certified election results on Nov. 29, so the new law was to go into effect 30 days from that date. The law already is in effect in Washington state; Maryland’s takes effect on Jan. 1, the first day of 2013.

Nobody knew exactly how many couples would be rushing to get their marriage licenses early Saturday in Maine. Falmouth joined Portland in opening at midnight. Other communities including Bangor, Brunswick and Augusta planned to hold special Saturday hours.

In Portland, the mood was festive with the crowd cheering and horns sounding at midnight as Bridges and Snell began filling out paperwork in the clerk’s office in Portland City Hall. There were free carnation boutonnieres and cupcakes, and a jazz trio played.

Outside, the raucous group that gathered in front of the building cheered Bridges and Snell as if they were rock stars and broke into the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love.”

Fourteen couples received marriage licenses, and five of them married on the spot, a city spokeswoman said. Many of those who received their marriage license were middle-aged, and some said they never envisioned a day when gay couples could wed just like straight couples.

“I came out years ago and the only thing we wanted was to not get beaten up,” said Steven Jones, 50, who married his partner, Jamous Lizotte, on his 35th birthday.

Not everyone was getting married right away.

Suzanne Blackburn and Joanie Kunian, of Portland, were among those in line to get their license at midnight, but they planned to have their marriage ceremony later. One of their grandchildren wanted them to get married on Valentine’s Day.

“I don’t think that we dared to dream too big until we had the governor’s signature,” Blackburn said. “That’s why it’s so important, because it feels real.”

Bridges and Snell already considered themselves married because they’d held a commitment ceremony attended by friends and family six years ago. Nonetheless, they thought it was important to make it official under state law, as Snell’s two daughters watched.

Katie and Carolyn Snell, the daughters, said the ceremony made formal what they knew all along to be true about the couple.

“It’s just a piece of paper,” said Katie Snell. “Their love has been there, their commitment has been there, all along. It’s the last step to make it a true official marriage because everything else has been there from the start.”

For more coverage and a video, go to the Portland Press Herald: http://www.pressherald.com/politics/Maine-same-sex-couples-begin-license-process-at-1201-am.html

2012 ending, 2013 beginning with gay weddings

A year of unprecedented public victories for marriage equality is ending with private wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples in Maine.

And 2013 will begin with weddings for same-sex couples in Maryland.

In both states, as well as Washington, voters affirmed marriage equality in ballot initiatives on Nov. 6. In Minnesota, voters rejected an anti-gay marriage amendment.

Gay couples in Washington state began marrying earlier in December.

The weddings were to begin in Maine on Dec. 29 and in Maryland on Jan. 1.

In mid-December, the Maine Office of Vital Records was updating the marriage license application used by cities and towns across the state and clerks were receiving notice that they cannot legally refuse licenses to gay couples.

Later in the month, some clerks in more progressive communities were preparing to open offices to issue licenses over the weekend.

Meanwhile, there were rumblings and grumblings in Maine’s conservative community of a campaign to repeal the marriage equality measure.

“Our opponents are already working to undermine our recent victory,” said Betsy Smith of the LGBT civil rights group Equality Maine. “They have promised to introduce legislation to amend the new marriage law and are exploring a possible ballot measure campaign to overturn it.”

She added, “To that end, we must remain vigilant.”

Mainers approved same-sex marriage 53 percent to 47 percent on Nov. 6, a margin wide enough to suggest that voters are unlikely to overturn it, according to the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders group in New England. Also, with Democratic majorities in the Legislature, it’s unlikely that there would be enough votes to overturn the measure.

So, with the transition into a new year, LGBT civil rights advocates are focusing on the campaigns for marriage equality in state legislatures in Illinois, where a vote may occur as early as January and a governor is eager to sign a bill, and in Rhode Island, where a vote is expected in 2013 with the support of another governor. Activists also are planning to press for marriage equality in Minnesota.

Illinois could become the second Midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage. “The quick pace of our marriage efforts may seem surprising to many, but we have been paving the ground for this from the moment civil unions passed the legislature in 2010,” said Bernard Cherkasov of Equality Illinois.

Rhode Island, which like Illinois currently recognizes civil unions, would be the last New England state to legalize same-sex marriage. Rhode Island Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed still opposes gay marriage and blocked a vote this past year, but she said she expects the chamber to take up the issue if the House advances a bill.

Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is openly gay, has said he intends to call an early vote on gay marriage legislation and passing it is one of his top priorities.

Independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee has made it clear he wants to sign such a bill.

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First gay marriage license in King County, Wash. Video.

Jane Abbott Lighty and Pete-e Petersen received the first same-sex marriage license in King County, Wash., at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 6. They’ve been together 35 years.

On the Web…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TRjBZRJtWO4

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Hundreds of same-sex couples across Washington state started picking up marriage licenses Thursday as a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage took effect.

King County, the state’s largest, opened the doors to its auditor’s office in Seattle just after midnight to start distributing licenses. But hundreds of people had lined up hours earlier, snaking around the building on a chilly December night. The county said it issued 489 marriage licenses Thursday, mostly to same-sex couples, breaking a previous daily record of 212. On average, King County issues 75 to 100 marriage licenses a day.

The mood in Seattle was festive in the overnight waiting line.

“We waited a long time. We’ve been together 35 years, never thinking we’d get a legal marriage. Now I feel so joyous I can’t hardly stand it,” said 85-year-old Pete-e Petersen, who with her partner, 77-year-old Jane Abbott Lighty, were the first to get a license.

After meeting 35 years ago on a blind date in Sacramento, Lighty and Petersen plan to get married Sunday. The couple has been out buying shoes and clothes for the wedding.

Washington state now joins several other states that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. Gov. Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election results of Referendum 74 on Wednesday afternoon, and the law took effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday. Same-sex couples who previously were married in another state that allows gay marriage, like Massachusetts, will not have to get remarried in Washington state. Their marriages became valid here Thursday, when the law took effect.

Couples in Maryland also started picking up marriage licenses Thursday, though their licenses won’t take effect until Jan. 1.

“I really imagined my life as being just with a partner and never having a wife, so to have this day come about and to be a part of it, it means everything to me,” said Kim Hinken, who was the first person to get a marriage license in Anne Arundel County, Md.’s Circuit Court. The 52-year-old Edgewater resident said she has waited nearly 10 years to become legally married to Adrianne Eathorne.

Maine’s law takes effect Dec. 29. There’s no waiting period in Maine, and people can start marrying just after midnight.

Washington gay couples get marriage licenses

Two by two, dozens of same-sex couples obtained their marriage licenses in Washington state early Thursday, just hours after Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a law legalizing gay marriage.

King County, the state’s biggest county, opened the doors to its auditor’s office in Seattle just after midnight PST to start distributing marriage licenses. But hundreds of people had lined up hours earlier, snaking around the downtown Seattle building on a chilly December night.

“We knew it was going to happen, but it’s still surreal,” said Amanda Dollente, who along with her partner, Kelly Middleton, began standing in line at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Washington state now joins several other states that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election on Wednesday afternoon, as they were joined by couples who plan to wed and community activists who worked on the campaign supporting gay marriage.

Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday. Same-sex couples who previously were married in another state that allows gay marriage, like Massachusetts, will not have to get remarried in Washington state. 

“This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington,” Gregoire said before signing the measure that officially certified the election results. “For many years now we’ve said one more step, one more step. And this is our last step for marriage equality in the state of Washington.”

Last month, Washington, Maine and Maryland became the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote. They joined six other states – New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont – and the District of Columbia that had already enacted laws or issued court rulings permitting same-sex marriage.

Referendum 74 in Washington state had asked voters to either approve or reject the state law legalizing same-sex marriage that legislators passed earlier this year. That law was signed by Gregoire in February but was put on hold pending the outcome of the election. Nearly 54 percent of voters approved the measure.

The law doesn’t require religious organizations or churches to perform marriages, and it doesn’t subject churches to penalties if they don’t marry gay or lesbian couples.

King County, home to Seattle, and Thurston County, home to the state capital of Olympia, opened at 12:01 a.m. Thursday to start issuing marriage licenses.

Asked whether the middle-of-the-night marriage license roll-out was necessary, King County Executive Dow Constantine said, “People who have been waiting all these years to have their rights recognized should not have to wait one minute longer.”

In Seattle, the mood was festive. Volunteers distributed roses, coffee and fruit. Couples canoodled to keep warm. Champagne was poured. Different groups of men and women serenaded the waiting line, one to the tune of “Going to the Chapel.”

“We waited a long time. We’ve been together 35 years, never thinking we’d get a legal marriage. Now I feel so joyous I can’t hardly stand it,” said 85-year-old Pete-e Petersen, who with her partner, 77-year-old Jane Abbott Lighty, were the first to get a license.

After meeting 35 years ago on a blind date in Sacramento, Lighty and Petersen will get married on Sunday. The couple has been out buying shoes and clothes for their wedding.

Maryland’s law officially takes effect Jan. 1, however couples can start picking up marriage licenses on Thursday, as long as the license has an effective date of Jan. 1. Whether clerks of court issue a postdated license is up to them, however. They are not required to do so. Maine’s law takes effect on Dec. 29. There’s no waiting period in Maine, and people can start marrying just after midnight.

In addition to private ceremonies that will start taking place across Washington state this weekend, Seattle City Hall will open for several hours on Sunday, and several local judges are donating their time to marry couples. Aaron Pickus, a spokesman for Mayor Mike McGinn, said that more than 140 couples have registered to get married at City Hall, and weddings will begin at 10 a.m.

Washington state has had a domestic partnership law in place since 2007. The initial law granted couples about two dozen rights, including hospital visitation and inheritance rights when there is no will. It was expanded a year later, and then again in 2009, when lawmakers completed the package with the so-called “everything but marriage” law that was ultimately upheld by voters later that year.

This year, lawmakers passed the law allowing gay marriage, and Gregoire signed it in February. Opponents gathered enough signatures for a referendum, putting the law on hold before it could take effect.

There are nearly 10,000 domestic partnership registrations with the secretary of state’s office. Most same-sex domestic partnerships that aren’t ended prior to June 30, 2014, automatically become marriages, unless one of the partners is 62 or older.

That provision was included in the state’s first domestic partnership law of 2007 to help heterosexual seniors who don’t remarry out of fear they could lose certain pension or Social Security benefits.

Among those getting marriage licenses Thursday was gay rights activist Dan Savage, who will marry his partner on Sunday with other couples at Seattle City Hall.

“It’s been a long fight but it ain’t over,” he said. “We still have to fight (the Defense of Marriage Act) and there’s 41 other states were same-sex couples aren’t allowed to marry.”