Minnesota ushers in same-sex marriage law

Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Gay and lesbian couples ushered in Minnesota's same-sex marriage law Thursday waiting in line to wed.

In Minneapolis, Cathy ten Broeke and Margaret Miles, the first couple legally wed in Minnesota, partied wearing the same dresses they wore a dozen years ago at their commitment ceremony, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

This time though, ten Broeke said, "the state of Minnesota [is] committing to us and our family."

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak worked overtime, officiating at the weddings of 42 same-sex couples on the marble steps of the City Hall Rotunda.

From Minneapolis and St. Paul up north to Duluth west to Crookston, gay and lesbian couples married in city halls, the Mall of America, even a bar in the pre-dawn hours Thursday as Minnesota became the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

"Our wedding will be about celebration and commitment, but will also be about sharing our lives to help people better understand how much the same we all are," said Phil Oxman, who married his partner of 38 years shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday in Minneapolis City Hall.

Two years ago, Republican legislative leaders tried to memorialize an existing same-sex marriage ban into the state Constitution by referendum, but voters turned that effort aside. During the 2013 legislative session, lawmakers moved to recognize same-sex marriage. On May 14, Gov. Mark Dayton signed the legalization into law.

State officials said they expect 5,000 same-sex couples to wed the first year.

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