An Edgewater couple became the first people to register for a same-sex marriage license in Anne Arundel County on Thursday.
"I went in the office and she just prints out the license and hands it to me. It was like the most normal thing ever," Kim Hinken said. "It felt fantastic. It felt like a piece of history. I know that so many people have fought so hard to have this law be passed and it means everything to me."
Hinken, 52, and her fiancé Adri Eathorne have been together for nearly 10 years, but they never thought they would be able to marry.
"When we fell in love with each other I knew that she was going to be with me for the rest of my life, and if I could have married her then I would have," Hinken said. "This is really just remarkable."
Hinken was one of three people who visited the Circuit Court in Annapolis to buy a license on the first day they were available to same-sex couples. Scott Bowling, 41, of Annapolis registered for the county's second license.
Maryland voters upheld a law legalizing gay marriage on Nov. 6, but questions quickly arose about whether couples would be able to obtain a license before Jan. 1 when the law goes into effect, according to The Baltimore Sun.
The courthouse will be closed on Jan. 1 and licenses aren't valid until 48 hours after they're issued, meaning same-sex couples in Anne Arundel County would have waited until Jan. 4 at the earliest to marry.
Last week, Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced that county clerks could issue licenses as soon as Gov. Martin O'Malley declared the referendum results accurate, according to The Sun.
O'Malley signed off on the results Thursday morning.
Linda Davis, who supervises the Marriage License department at the courthouse, said she expected more people to show up on Thursday for their licenses.
Her office issued 14 marriage licenses on Thursday—which Davis said is about average.
She thinks the number of applications will rise during December as more couples become aware of the news that they can now register to marry.
Hinken plans to marry Eathorne as soon as possible, but she said it may be too late for family and friends to make a New Year's Day wedding.
Hinken also plans to frame her marriage license.
"It makes us so happy to know that we can actually get married in our home state," Hinken said. "It's going on the wall."