June was a happy month for the celebration of marriage equality with the Supreme Court rulings that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and invalidated California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 and today is a happy day for MORE marriage equality celebration here in the US. Back in May, the states of Minnesota and Rhode Island became the 12th and 13th states in the country to legalize same-sex marriage and at 12AM today, those laws went into effect. Couples all over the states of MN and RI lined up to begin to marry, which means it’s been a most joyous day already in those states :)
Dozens of gay couples began tying the knot early Thursday morning at Minneapolis City Hall as Minnesota – along with Rhode Island – became the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage. “I didn’t expect to cry quite that hard,” said a beaming Cathy ten Broeke, who with Margaret Miles was the first gay couple to be wed at City Hall. After Miles and ten Broeke exchanged vows and rings just before midnight Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak had musicians kill a few minutes until the clock struck 12:01 a.m. Thursday, when the law went into effect. Then the attending crowd burst into applause as Rybak pronounced Miles and ten Broeke married. The couple stood nearby embracing their 5-year-old son, Louie. “We do,” all three said to more cheers as they promised to be a family. Rhode Island and Minnesota on Thursday became the 12th and 13th U.S. states to allow gay marriage, along with the District of Columbia. In Minneapolis, 42 couples were expected to be married by Rybak and several Hennepin County judges in the hours before dawn. Weddings were scheduled to start at the stroke of midnight at Minneapolis City Hall, St. Paul’s Como Park, Mall of America’s Chapel of Love and at county courthouses around the state. One group planned a cluster of weddings in a Duluth tavern. “I don’t think either of us ever thought we’d see this day,” said Mike Bolin, of the Minneapolis suburb of Richfield, who was marrying Jay Resch, his partner of six years, at Minneapolis City Hall. “We met at low points in both of our lives, and to have arrived at this point — there’s going to be a lot of tears.” Rhode Island was joining Minnesota on Thursday in becoming the 12th and 13th U.S. states to allow gay marriage, along with the District of Columbia. The national gay rights group Freedom to Marry estimates that about 30 percent of the U.S. population now lives in places where gay marriage is legal. The first gay weddings in Rhode Island were planned for later Thursday morning. In Minnesota, budget officials estimated that about 5,000 gay couples would marry in the first year. Its enactment capped a fast turnabout on the issue in just over two years. After voters rejected a constitutional ban on gay marriage last fall, the state Legislature this spring moved to make it legal. Rhode Island becomes the last New England state to allow same-sex marriage. Lawmakers in the heavily Catholic state passed the marriage law this spring, after more than 16 years of efforts by same-sex marriage supporters. Both Minnesota and Rhode Island will automatically recognize marriages performed in other states. Bolin and Resch celebrated Wednesday night with several hundred others at Wilde Roast Cafe along the Mississippi River north of downtown Minneapolis. Many at the event planned to walk to City Hall for the mass nuptials.
Dayton proclaimed Aug. 1 to be “Freedom to Marry Day” in Minnesota. Golden Valley-based General Mills Inc. donated Betty Crocker cakes for the event, which was also to feature performances by local musicians and services donated by wedding photographers, florists and other businesses.
Yay! The United States of America takes another big step forward toward a future where marriage equality will be enjoyed by ALL US citizens and I couldn’t be happier for Minnesota and Rhode Island today. Today is a very special day for so many couples who probably never believed they would be able to be legally married here in the US. Now that MN and RI join the ranks of the other 11 states that enjoy marriage equality, our country stands a bit taller than it did yesterday. Much love and MANY congrats to all the happy couples who will marry in these states from today on. I know it won’t be long until this basic right to marry will be enjoyed by all couples here in the US … the happy news coming out of Minnesota and Rhode Island today is proof of that fact. Woot!!!0