Portland's marriage equality plan includes crowd control

The Portland Press Herald
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December 27, 2012

They know neither who will come, nor how many. Nonetheless, city officials are preparing for as many as 100 same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses – and possibly getting married – before dawn Saturday. "We're prepared for pretty much any kind of crowd we could get," said Chris Farwell, a city event coordinator who is responsible for logistics on Saturday. Portland is one of a handful of communities in Maine that plan special office hours Saturday, the first day that same-sex couples can be married under a new state law. Falmouth will also open just after midnight, while communities including Augusta and Brunswick will open their offices at 9 a.m. For groups and families who plan to be at Portland City Hall on Friday night and early Saturday morning, city officials are arranging varying levels of access. Only couples, their immediate families and a limited number of guests will be allowed inside the building, and only the couples themselves will be allowed to wait in line for marriage certificates. Families will be directed to adjacent lobbies and rooms, Farwell said.