Minneapolis officials are planning a marathon of same-sex weddings for the early morning hours of August 1, including City Hall ceremonies punctuated by local indie tunes and Betty Crocker cakes.
Mayor R.T. Rybak outlined his plans Thursday to officiate the weddings of about 40 same-sex couples in the City Hall rotunda between 1 and 6 a.m. when gay marriage becomes legal in Minnesota. During a morning news conference, he also introduced the first couples he will marry.
"It's great to be here for an announcement about a day that many of us wondered would ever come," Rybak said. "But all of us -- certainly here at City Hall -- say, 'Thank god we finally are in a place where love will be the law.'"
General Mills will donate Betty Crocker cakes, local indie music phenom Jeremy Messersmith will perform songs and the nearby Hotel Minneapolis will host a late-night reception.
The joint city-county agency that runs City Hall is donating the rotunda, which is normally available for a fee. Art Institute International photography students will donate their services and the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus will perform.
Rybak will marry Margaret Miles and Cathy ten Broeke first, followed shortly after by Al Giraud and Jeff Isaacson. The 40 other couples, who were among the first to apply for slots, have already been notified. Ten Broeke recently became the state's point person on ending homelessness, after holding a similar job with the city and county.
"It is hard to express what it feels like to now know that our beloved Minnesota recognizes our commitment," said ten Broeke, fighting back tears. "And yesterday, yesterday was like walking outside into the bright light of love and justice."
Ten Broeke was referring to the Supreme Court decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.
Many prominent city officials are gay, including the police chief and development head, but Rybak did not know if, when or where they would wed.
Photo: Cathy ten Broeke and Margaret Miles embrace (Jerry Holt)