With hugs and happy tears warming a normally bureaucratic transaction, gay couples flocked to courthouses to receive marriage licenses Thursday morning, the first day they were available after voters upheld Maryland's law allowing same-sex weddings in November. "I started tearing up when I saw the marriage license," Alli Harper, 34, said of the document that she and Jennifer Monti, 32, received shortly after the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse opened at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. "All of a sudden, it's right there in front of you." For Harper, a lawyer who volunteered on the successful campaign to pass Question 6, the referendum extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, getting the license suddenly made the political victory also a personal one. "I think ever since the [election] results came in, we were feeling enormous gratitude to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen," the Timonium resident said. "And then to raise your right hand and swear that everything on the application is true, it's pretty powerful."
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