BRUNSWICK – Brunswick was one of a dozen or so communities holding special hours Saturday, the first day of the new same-sex marriage law.

Seven couples obtained licenses in Brunswick, including Mary Parker and Becky Roak, who brought their 22-month-old daughter, Grace, the birth child of Roak.

Parker said it was important to get married because it gives legal protection to Grace in the event of their deaths as well as assuring her own legal status as a mother of Grace.

“Being a parent is a beautiful thing and I am just really happy to have this opportunity,” Parker said. “Grace is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

Katherine Wilder, 39, obtained a hunting and fishing license and also a marriage license for her and her partner, Margaret O’Connell, 44. 

O’Connell later wept during a brief marriage ceremony officiated by Town Councilor Ben Tucker.

“I didn’t expect to get all teary-eyed,’` she said after the ceremony. “I started to shake and everything.”

The couple, who had brought their dog, Blue, said they were surprised to see so many reporters.
“If I had known, I would not have worn my muck boots,” Wilder said.

Several people from the Coastal Estates condominium complex on Ward Circle arrived at Town Hall to support their neighbors, Anne Merrifield, 73, and Cathy Meaney, 57, who were married at a ceremony.

“We wanted to show our support,” said Meg Villarreal, who threw bird seeds in the air as the couple walked out of Town Hall.  “I wanted to say, ‘Go you kids!’”