Orono Couple Tying the Knot after 24 Years 

Maine’s first same sex marriages will take place Saturday.It’s the first day that will be legal in Maine.Several town offices around the state will be open to facilitate marriages.“The city clerk’s office will be open tomorrow from 6a.m. to 8a.m. to process marriage license applications for all people who are consenting adults, over the age of 18, regardless of orientation,” says Joe Baldacci of the Bangor City Council.Maine voters made it legal in November for the state to recognize same-sex couples as legally married as of December 29.Many town offices around Maine will be issuing legal documents.In honor of the new law, Bangor will be offering services to marry people on the spot.“All are welcome who wish to get married tomorrow and there will be some volunteer notaries, in case they are needed to officiate and perform ceremonies, so, for those two hours we will be implementing the new law for the first time,” says Baldacci.The usual $200 marriage fee will be waived.The offer is good to anybody that wants to get hitched Saturday.The marriage license does cost $40.Everyone wishing to get married should make sure to bring to correct documents with them. “What they’d need to do is to bring their IDs, photo IDs. If there’s been a previous marriage for either one, they would have to show us how that marriage ended, whether it was divorce or death. They would have to be a resident, one of them would have to be a resident of Bangor, or if you’re coming from another state, you can come to any town office within the state,” said the Deputy City Clerk of Bangor, Diane Lovejoy.She thinks the day will be a milestone for many.”I know many of the couple I have spoken with have been together for many, many years and this kind of makes it fun for them. That’s kind of nice that we were able to do it,” said Lovejoy.Sue Estler and Paula Johnson of Orono know what it feels like to wait for many years.“Well, after 24 years, we’re getting married tomorrow,” said Estler.Getting married was something they never envisioned a legal wedding back 20 years ago.“It was beyond what we could have imagined at the time,” said Estler.“Mostly, because I think people have difficulty wrapping their heads around it. You know, the same-sex idea, “said Johnson.They’ll be married at their home in front of family and friends. Doing so on the first day the new law is recognized will always be a reminder of how far their relationship has come.“Obviously, Maine people have come to understand in a very different way and accept our relationship in a different way,” said Estler.“It feels really good. Really, a big, big change,’ said Johnson.