Same-sex couples in Maryland began getting their marriage licenses at courthouses throughout the state Thursday.
With a stroke of his pen, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley officially confirmed the results of the same-sex marriage ballot question, allowing those marriage licenses to be issued.
Elizabeth McKenna of Gaithersburg has been with her partner 10 years. She showed up early to be get a marriage license.
"I'm just blown away,” she said. “I didn't think this would ever happen. It's sort of taking a while to sink in but, it's just so great to be normal, to just marry the person I love."
Maryland voters approved Question 6 for marriage equality on Election Day, and Thursday the governor signed the referendum into law. It takes effect New Year’s Day, so the licenses issued Thursday were dated ahead to Jan. 1, 2013.
Clerk of the Montgomery County Circuit Court Loretta Knight explained how the wording on marriage licenses has changed.
“We no longer have groom-bride or man-woman or anything,” she said. “We now have party one and party two. This is for everyone who applies, whether it's same-sex marriage or traditional one.”
Karen Kroening and her partner of 29 years have been planning their wedding since the state voted for same-sex marriage.
"We cried that night and teared up I don't know how many times in the past weeks getting prepared,” she said. “But we appreciate the support of Maryland and we appreciate everybody's support. We really it's so special to us to be like everybody else."