Live-Blogging the First Hours of Equal Marriage in Maine from Portland City Hall

Tonight I will be at Portland City Hall live-blogging the gay marriage celebrations and related events. Knack Factory, the production company at which I am a partner, has partnered with the Bangor Daily News to capture footage for a short video about the occasion. I could not be any more excited than I am right now.

Here is how this is going to work: I will be posting events as they happen, and they will appear in reverse-chronological order below (with the newest events on top). Each event will be time-stamped. While I will likely add observations between now and then, the on-site blogging will start around 10 pm. I look forward to sharing this experience with you.

  • [10:33a] We are so happy to present Finally, our video portrait of last night.
  • [02:02a] This blog, and our photographs, were featured heavily on BuzzFeed. Awesome. Take a look at their entry here.
  • [01:41a] The AP’s take on tonight.
  • [01:24a] This is a link to a Bangor Daily News story about Steven Bridges and Michael Snell by Abigail Curtis and Seth Koenig.
  • [01:20a] Here is a video of the crowd singing All You Need is Love outside of Portland City Hall.
  • [01:00a] Alright, everyone, it’s almost impossible to describe. The cheer, the enthusiasm and the love is overwhelming. Everyone is in amazing spirits. We are on our way out to process our video and pictures, so we will be offline for a bit, but stay tuned. Much love until then, and thanks for tagging along.
  • [12:58a] I just revisited Byron and Chris, post marriage, and asked if it was worth the fight. “Yes!” they said. What’s next? “Sleeping in, and a late breakfast.”
  • [12:49a] Spectator in the crowd: “Takes my breath away!”
  • [12:39a] A picture of the first couple as they exit city hall to cheers from hundreds of supporters. Way to go, Steven Bridges and Michael Snell [Photo Below].
  • [12:30a] The first couple to get their licenses and get married are Steven Bridges and Michael Snell.
  • [12:14a] The first couple to get their licenses and get married, well, get their licenses and get married. Potentially the first gay couple in the state of Maine to get married. They say that they were first accidentally. Their names are Steven Bridges and Michael Snell.
  • [12:09a] Another casual picture of a great-looking, paperwork-filling-out, soon-to-be married couple [pictured below].
  • [12:01a] It’s midnight and there was a countdown out front [photo below]. Take a look at that massive crowd, and look at how substantially it has grown over the past hour.
  • [11:53p] I just caught Mayor Brennan, who said opening at this time was important for Portland, because the occasion was a historic one. Equal marriage is important for Maine because it is essential to be a state that doesn’t discriminate.
  • [11:42p] LuzMarina Serrano (pictured below) just explained that she is here for her friends, and she is here, despite having to bundle up so much, because of love. Love is important to support, she says.
  • [11:35p] I just talked with Jill Barkley, who told me that she kept fighting campaign after campaign for this moment. This is important for the state because equality is important. Now people won’t move from here just to be recognized.
  • [11:32p] I just talked with Erin McNally, a straight ally and a notary who is here to marry people for free. This is important for her because it is about time, she says, that equality is recognized in this state.
  • [11:20p] I just took a picture of the crowd from about 20 minutes ago.
  • [11:13p] I just talked to Byron Bartlett (pictured below) who says that he is lucky to be here. There are so many loving couples who came before him who aren’t here. He is lucky to be a part of this, and he says that is important for him to acknowledge.
  • [11:02p] I just talked with Chris O’Connor, who has been fighting for marriage equality since 2008. He said that he was just at dinner and a waitress asked if City Hall would be staying open in this way for straight people. She just got married herself. He said he wanted to ask, “How many doors have you knocked on in order to have this right?” He is happy to be here tonight. He is excited to be here tonight. It means “everything” to him.
  • [10:53p] I just talked with Amanda Hollander who is up in the air as to whether or not she will be married tonight. On one hand, for her, it’s about being a part of the crowd, and joining her parents who have been married for 40+ years and have been a part of this on-going civil rights struggle. Either way, she is here to support what is happening, and be a part of it… potentially.
  • [10:40p] Chris and Byron are amp3ed for their big day… To get their dog license… They kid, they kid. They’re excited, and hilarious. See the photo below.
  • [10:29p] And the live-blogging begins. There are about a dozen people in support of equal marriage out front, and two scripture-spouting zealots against it outside of Portland City Hall.
  • [8:53p] A Portlander on celebrating marriage equality in Maine.
  • [8:45p] Perez Hilton’s take on tonight.
  • [8:02p]Sonny‘s will be serving up Marriage Equalitinis specials tonight.
  • [4:43p] Here is Jezebel’s take on tonight.
  • [4:35p] This person is looking for a confetti-flinging partner.
  • [4:30p] From the Morning Sentinel: Owners hope arrival of gay marriage boosts Maine businesses
  • [3:34p] And here is Reuters’ take on tonight.
  • [3:14p] Here is the Washington Post’s take on tonight.
  • [2:45p] I am very excited to see the All You Need Is Love happening, which I could pretend isn’t going to make me cry, but it definitely will. Here is how it is described on it’s Facebook Event Page: On December 29th, Portland City Hall will be opening at 12:01 AM to issue marriage licenses to EVERYONE (who is a resident of Portland) who wants them, and THAT is something to celebrate! So let’s fill City Hall Plaza at midnight with a huge choir singing “All You Need is Love” at the top of our lungs as the first blissfully wed couple exits the building! We can help commemorate this momentous occasion in Maine’s civil rights history by raising our voices and spreading the love! Please share this with everyone you know and help contribute the beauty of music to this wonderful night.

PHOTOS:

Chris and Byron are ready for their big day.

Crowd of support at about 11p.

LuzMarina Serrano is here “because of love.”

Erin McNally, straight ally.

Midnight. Take a look at that massive crowd, and look at how substantially it has grown over the past hour.

The first in Portland… First in the state? Steven Bridges and Michael Snell.

Way to go, Steven Bridges and Michael Snell.

Live-blogging away. [Photo by Knack Factory]

Steven Bridges and Michael Snell sign their marriage paperwork. [Photo by Knack Factory]

Closeup of Steven Bridges and Michael Snell signing marriage paperwork. [Photo by Knack Factory]

Erin McNally “will happily notarize your nuptials for free!” [Photo by Knack Factory]

Byron Bartlett and Chris Kast on their wedding day. [Photo by Knack Factory]

Recommend this article
Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.