Maine has become the latest state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, and gays and lesbians celebrated by tying the knot as early as possible on Saturday. A series of civil ceremonies were held shortly after midnight in what is now the only state to legalize same-sex marriage solely through popular vote, points out Reuters. Maryland and Washington also extended marriage rights in November but Maine was the only state where voters took the initiative without state legislators acting first.
Maryland is the next state that will celebrate marriages of same-sex couples when its law goes into effect on the first day of 2013. Nine states plus Washington, D.C. now have laws in the books allowing same-sex weddings, whereas 31 states have passed constitutional amendments restricting marriage to heterosexual couples.