Tonight at midnight marriage equality finally becomes a reality in Minnesota. The legislature passed the bill that legalized same-sex marriages last May, and Governor Mark Dayton immediately signed it into law. Tomorrow, August 1, couples will finally be allowed to marry.
Many midnight celebrations are planned, including one for Phil Oxman, a psychiatrist from Minneapolis and his partner of nearly 40 years Harvey Zuckman owner of the computer consulting company First Tech. The two plan to marry at Minneapolis City Hall, moving the rings they have been wearing since their twenty-fifth anniversary from their right to their left hands when they finally say “I do.”
Katie Craig and her partner Mary Elizabeth Gonzalez, who met a few years ago at a Star Trek convention, will be traveling from Grand Forks, North Dakota, to marry tomorrow in Crookson, Minnesota. North Dakota won’t recognize their marriage, and neither will Katie’s family, but the couple promises that won’t deter them. “We want what everybody wants,” Gonzalez said. “We have decided to go for it, no matter what.”
Artist Tim Robinson and his partner, social worker Gary Lundstrom, are a Duluth couple who are raising three children together. The couple privately “wed” 16 years ago, wedding cake and all. Now they want to marry – legally. They will exchange vows shortly after sunrise tomorrow in a rose garden on the shores of Lake Superior. The mayor of Duluth, Don Ness, will officiate.
Holli Bartelt and Amy Petrich, a lesbian couple from Wykoff Minnesota, became engaged in a photo booth at the Mall Of America. They will marry in the mall’s Chapel of Love at exactly 12:01 a.m. Holli’s two children will be in attendance, dressed in the colors of marriage equality, orange and blue.
Preparations for tonight have been in the making for months. In sparsely populated Polk County, Recorder Michelle Cote became an officiate because the courts no longer offer that service. “I thought it was a service we should provide.” Michelle told reporters.
John Goldfine, Vice President of ZMC Hotels is offering to marry couples tonight at midnight at the company’s hotel in Duluth. John became a marriage equality advocate when his daughter came out to him. He says he was ordained in his long ago hippy days, and will marry any couple unable to afford a lavish wedding, or whose family doesn’t approve. “For that night” he offfers, “We are your family.”
Hundreds of couples are expected to marry in Minnesota in the next few days and parties are planned across the state. I wish we could mention every last one of them, and every last Minnesotan who is doing what he can to make the day a memorable one. What we can do is to wish all the brides and grooms a happy life together. Congratulations Minnesota! Tomorrow is your day to celebrate.
Photos are from the couples Facebook Pages.
Minnesota graphic is from Memeographs Facebook Page
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