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“We said someday we’ll be back here” to get a marriage license, Tufano said. “We didn’t think it would be August 1.”
So they’ll be signing a certificate of domestic partnership in June, then circling back for a marriage certificate once it’s legal. Thinking about that certificate, Tufano said, “This must be what it feels like to become a full citizen.”
They became engaged last March, when a constitutional ban on gay marriage was heading for the ballot. Neither thought that barely a year later, they’d be making plans to pick up a Minnesota marriage certificate.
“We just look on this as an opportunity to have another anniversary date,” McCarty said. “We wanted to get married, we wanted to have a ceremony in front of all of our friends. We wanted to have the opportunity to say in front of all of our people: We love each other, we’re committing to each other for life and we can’t get legally married yet, but we will someday. In the meantime, this is us starting our lives together.”
A sign bobbing around the crowd at the Capitol claimed that all the country’s economic woes could be solved with three little words: Gay Wedding Registry.
“I thought we could have three” weddings, joked Emily Mraz, who has been with her partner, Pam Schuh, for nine years and what they call “illegally married” for almost four. She tallied up the wedding possibilities: “The first illegal one, and then the second one when it’s legal in Minnesota and then the third and final one when it’s federal.”
That, they concede, would be an excessive number of wedding registries, but having their home state recognize their union means everything to them.
“Pam likes to refer to me as her wife, but to me that doesn’t feel right. I’m not, until we are” legally recognized, Mraz said. “I don’t think people realize how often they drop it in conversation. ‘Oh, well my wife or my husband,’ and they just sort of drop it into conversation. I’d kill to say that word and have it mean something.”
Jennifer Brooks • 651-925-5049