- September 3, 2013
Post submitted by Mitchell Scuzzarella, HRC Digital Media intern.
Same-sex couples claimed nearly 1 in 3 marriage licenses issued in Minnesota in the month following the state’s new marriage equality law.
According to a statewide survey from the Associated Press, at least 1,640 same-sex couples applied for licenses since Minnesota became the 12th state with marriage equality.
Licenses became available to same-sex couples on August 1st, prompting the rush of marriage applications from couples that had long awaited their turn down the aisle.
"This is the product of people who were living in the legal wilderness for so long, suddenly no longer being told their relationships are substandard," said Sen. Scott Dibble, a sponsor of Minnesota’s marriage equality bill. “There’s an excitement out there right now. I’ve been going to so many weddings lately, it’s like I’m two years out of college again.”
According to the AP, the demand for licenses was highest in the metro areas, where 3 out of 4 licenses issued in the Hennepin and Ramsey counties were to gay and lesbian couples.
However, in each of the 40 counties where a constitutional ban had majority support, there was at least one application from a same-sex couple.
HRC was a key player in passing marriage equality in Minnesota, providing financial investment, staff and technical resources to the grassroots efforts of the Minnesotans United for All Families.
Minnesota for Marriage, the group that worked to defeat the marriage equality legislation, vowed last week to defeat lawmakers who supported the bill.
“We did not forget,” said the group in an email to supporters.
Rep. Jay McNamar, one of swing votes on the issue, said he is ready to face the backlash.
“Come election time it will get brought up, I know that. But I don’t regret what I did,” said McNamar.
While the recent decision in Minnesota shows immense progress in the fight for marriage equality, much remains to be done. Learn more about the fight for marriage equality in your state at our Marriage Center.