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Same-sex marriage ceremonies begin in Maryland

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02:05 PM January 1st, 2013

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January 1st, 2013 02:05 PM

Darcia Anthony, left, and her partner, Danielle Williams, chat before participating in a marriage ceremony at City Hall in Baltimore, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. Same-sex couples in Maryland are now legally permitted to marry under a new law that went into effect after midnight on Tuesday. Maryland is the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line to approve same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE — Same-sex couples are holding marriage ceremonies in Maryland, the first southern state to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

James Scales, who is marrying William Tasker on Tuesday right after midnight, said shortly before the big moment that he could hardly believe he is finally marrying his partner of 35 years.

Scales, who has worked for the Baltimore mayor’s office for 25 years, is being married by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at City Hall.

Ceremonies are taking place in other parts of the state as well.

Same-sex couples in Maryland have been able to get marriage licenses since December 6, but they did not take effect until Tuesday.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have approved same-sex marriage.

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