Same-sex marriages became legal in Maryland in January 2013. We asked Rev. Deborah Cummings-Thomas, a licensed marriage officiant who co-owns Marry Me in DC, for her advice for same-sex couples wanting to take the plunge. 1. There is a two-day waiting period for the marriage license application to process (In D.C. it's 3 days). The license expires after six months (there's no expiration date on the license in D.C., so you can get married any time after you have the marriage license in hand, be it a week or a year). In many cases, your officiant would be able to file your marriage license application on your behalf. 2. Ask your officiant for referrals to other gay-friendly wedding professionals. Sadly, not everyone is welcoming of same-sex unions, and you could save yourself some time and disappointment by getting help finding wedding service providers who want to work with you. 3. If considering a name-change after your ceremony, be sure to request a certified copy of your marriage license from the courthouse after your marriage is registered with the courts. Take that copy to the MVA first and have your name changed on your license. Then take the certified copy and your new license to the Social Security Administration. 4. Remember that marriage is a serious commitment, especially for same-sex couples. If you and your partner find yourselves living in a state that does not recognize your marriage, divorce can be nearly impossible. Make sure that you know each other well, and are clear on your goals and expectations as a couple before crossing this very important threshold in your lives.
Matt Roth / Patuxent Publishing