Same-Sex Couple Follows Lawyer's Advice, Plans Marriage
Thursday is the first day Maryland's circuit courts could start issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Timonium residents Bruce Eicher and Jorge Gaitan went to Baltimore County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon to get a marriage license—at the advice of their lawyer.
"He said it was safer. If one of us died, we want to make sure the other is taken care of," said Eicher, who is 80 years old.
Thursday marked the first day same-sex couples in Maryland could obtain a marriage license, but Baltimore County's gay and lesbian residents didn't appear to be in a huge rush late in the day.
An employee at the licensing department in circuit court declined to comment on the number of same-sex couples who had sought licenses on Thursday.
Eicher and Gaitan, a 67-year-old native of Colombia, were one of a few couples to obtain a marriage license at the Baltimore County Circuit Court in the afternoon. Eicher called the occasion "anti-climatic."
"We had a civil ceremony 10 years ago in Vermont," he said. "We had all the fun and excitement then."
In a news release, Governor Martin O'Malley shared that he had signed a proclamation Thursday morning enabling Maryland courthouses to issue the licenses. The signature comes about a month after the 2012 elections, where Marylanders voted to approve same-sex marriage on referendum.
The same-sex marriage law goes into effect Jan. 1.
Eicher and Gaitan are pleased by the steps the state took to legalize same-sex marriage.
"I'm a very patient person," Eicher said of the wait before he could legalize his relationship with Gaitan. "But I'm very happy [same-sex marriage] passed referendum. I wouldn't be surprised if the rest of the country started legalizing it soon as well."
Wedding plans are up in the air for the couple, but they do intend to have a small gathering with close friends.
"I feel happy," Gaitan said. "We're making plans to have a nice vacation to Florida in March."