At midnight on Thursday, August 1, when Minnesota becomes the 12th U.S. state where same-sex marriage is legal, at least one Minneapolis couple will not be saying their vows. They already did — 42 years ago.
Jack Baker and Michael McConnell were pioneers in the fight for marriage equality, and are believed to be the first gay couple to marry in the United States whe they wed in 1971 after obtaining a marriage license in Mankato, Minn.
A year earlier, they were denied a marriage license in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Supreme Court Baker eventually ruled their marriage “invalid,” claiming “the institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation or rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis.”
Forty-two years later, Baker and McConnell are still together, still living in Minneapolis, and still married.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the marriage equality bill, passed by the state legislature, on May 14.
The law goes into effect on Thursday, and some county offices and cities plan to open early to issue and officiate same-sex ceremonies.