Same-sex couples in Maryland ring in New Years Day by exchanging vows. In 2012 Maryland became one of three states where voters approved laws allowing same-sex marriage and just after midnight, on the first day of the new year, many couples participated in marriage ceremonies at Baltimore City Hall. According to CNN Tuesday, Jim Scales and William Tasker were one of those couples.
Jim and William have been together for 35 years and on Tuesday were finally able to legally marry. The happy couple was the first couple in Baltimore to marry under the new law that passed this past November. It was a narrow victory with 52 percent supporting same-sex marriage and 48 percent opposing it. The long journey and hard fight for gay marriage advocates saw its reward in the smiles of couples like Jim and William. William Tasker told CNN just how happy he was.
“This is as happy as I’ve ever been, to be able to spend the rest of my life with Bill – legally – and to show the rest of the gay community that this can be done.”
Jim and William was one of seven couples to legally marry in Baltimore in the first hours of 2013. Another couple, Ruth Siegel and Nina Nethery exchanged vows and tears as part of the first wave of wedding celebrations to take place in the early morning. The Washington Post reported that two exchanged promises before being declared “legally married.”
The couple admitted that in 15 years together that they had three previous commitment ceremonies, but none of them compared and was as special as the ceremony that took place in the early hours of the first day of the rest of their lives together.
Nina Netherly told the post that “This is better than I even imagined it could be.”
Netherly’s emotion can be echoed in the many hearts of same-sex couples who joined together in marriage throughout the day in Maryland.
Same-sex marriage in the United States took a historic leap this past November as Maryland along with Maine and Washington state became the first states where voters legalized same-sex marriage. There are now 9 states along with Washington, D. C. where gay couples can legally marry.