PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Same-Sex Couples on MDI Licensed to Wed



PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Walking out of the Mount Desert town offices Monday morning, Susan Grindle shows off the marriage license that she and Janice Collucci were issued by town cleck Joelle Nolan a few minutes earlier.

MOUNT DESERT — Susan Grindle and Janice Collucci weren’t looking to make history or a political statement. They had a much more personal reason for wanting to get married.

“Because we love each other,” Ms. Grindle said.

“We love each other and we want to have all the rights and protections that marriage offers, that every other married couple is entitled to,” Ms. Collucci added.

They were among four lesbian couples on Mount Desert Island – three in Mount Desert and one in Tremont – to be issued marriage licenses Monday, the first day licenses were available to same-sex couples on the island. Ms. Grindle and Ms. Collucci tied the knot that afternoon in a private ceremony at their home in Seal Harbor.

No male couples on MDI obtained marriage licenses Monday.

Maine voters legalized same-sex marriage in a referendum Nov. 6. The law went into effect Saturday, Dec. 29, and municipal offices in Portland, Bangor and a few other cities opened that day to accommodate same-sex couples who wanted to be among the first in the state to get married.

The four town offices on MDI opened at their usual time Monday morning.

Ms. Grindle, 68, is a Bar Harbor native who worked at Jackson Laboratory for 36 years before retiring nearly five years ago. Ms. Collucci, 52, currently works at the lab. She is originally from the Boston area. The two met 15 years ago and have been together pretty much ever since.

Although they obviously support same-sex marriage, they weren’t active in the campaign to legalize it.

“We weren’t political at all; we’re not demonstrators,” Ms. Grindle said. “We just enjoy our life together here. We contribute to our community and pay taxes like everybody else does, and we just want the same rights.

“If anything should happen, we want to make sure our properties, everything we own in both our names, is safe.”

The couple said Monday that they have received nothing but encouragement and good wishes from people who have learned they were planning to marry.

“We have a tremendous amount of support from the whole island community,” Ms. Grindle said. “It’s been overwhelming.”

The couple plans to celebrate their marriage with a big party at their home this summer. In the fall, they’re taking a trip to Scotland.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]