Same-sex couples in Maryland are counting down the hours for the New Year when they will legally be able to marry.
In Silver Spring, Ruth Siegel and Nina Nethery tell ABC7 about their wedding plans and why it means so much to them.
They decided they wanted to be one of the first gay couples to wed when the Maryland same-sex marriage law takes effect New Year's Day.
The couple will be on the Eastern Shore to exchange vows on Tillman Island, wearing matching white tuxedos.
Under the new Maryland law, their union will be a marriage, not a civil union.
"There is just something a lot deeper spiritually when you can get married and it's legitimized by your friends, your family and your country."
"The day after the law passed in early November, I just felt a lift. I felt like I walked a little bit taller that day."
It's a feeling of legitimacy they have been hoping would come for 15 years.
Siegel and Nethery, who met at a country western dance bar in Rockville, say there is no better place to exchange vows than in a state that now recognizes their love.