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Same-Sex Couples In Maryland Prepare To Wed On Jan. 1

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Jim Scales and Bill Taskers plan to marry at City Hall in Baltimore just after midnight on Jan. 1.
Markette Smith
Jim Scales and Bill Taskers plan to marry at City Hall in Baltimore just after midnight on Jan. 1.

With the clocking winding down to New Year's day, everyone from wedding vendors to court clerks have seen an uptick in inquiries from same-sex couples.

Mike Filas is spokesman for Strathmore, an upscale wedding venue in north Bethesda.

"We have always welcomed same-sex couples to Strathmore for commitment ceremonies, but since the new legislation was passed, we've seen inquiries go from a handful throughout a whole year to four or five within a month," he says.

Meanwhile, Montgomery County's Clerk of the Circuit says 31 marriage licenses for same-sex couples have been issued since Dec. 6, and four weddings at the court are already booked for Jan. 2.

Jim Scales and Bill Taskers of Baltimore plan to marry at their City Hall. They've been together for 35 years.

Scales, a long-time employee of the mayor's office in Baltimore, has arranged for the ceremony to take place just after the stroke of midnight. This could make him and his partner the first same-sex couple to legally wed in the state.

Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland plans to serve as a witness for the occasion.

"I can't wait," says Evans. "You know, there's very few times when you do social justice work that you get to actually witness the sort of fruits of your labor."

A representative from the office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake confirms that she will be in attendance for the nuptials.

A mass gay wedding in Cumberland, Md. is also planned for the New Year.

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