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Continued: Minnesota gay and lesbian couples in wedding countdown

In honor of the upcoming ceremony, Oxman briefly considered having the rings cleaned and polished, making them look new and perfect again. After some thought, he decided he preferred the slightly faded look, with the scuff marks and imperfections.

The tarnished rings, he said, symbolize the nicks and scrapes of their nearly four decades together.

On Thursday, shortly after midnight, they will take their vows, and in doing so, make one change in their ring status.

They will finally switch their wedding bands from the right hand to the left.


Baird Helgeson • 651-925-5044


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    See a full digital timeline at

    1970: Minneapolis couple Jack Baker and Michael Mc- Connell apply for a marriage license, are rejected by Hennepin County District Court and go on to file what is believed to be the first U.S. lawsuit on same-sex marriage.

    1971: Minnesota Supreme Court rules against Baker, declaring in its opinion that “[t]he institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation or rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis.”

    1996: Congress adopts the Defense of Marriage Act, prohibiting federal benefits to same-sex couples.

    1997: Minnesota adopts a state Defense of Marriage Act, explicitly barring “a marriage between persons of the same sex.”

    1998: Alaska becomes the first state to put a gay-marriage ban in its Constitution. Two dozen states will follow suit in coming years.

    2003: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules that bans on same-sex marriage violate the state’s Constitution.

    2011: The Minnesota Legislature puts a constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot that would define marriage as only the union of a man and woman.

    November 2012: Minnesota voters defeat the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

    May 9, 2013: On a 75-59 vote, a DFL-controlled Minnesota House votes to repeal the state DOMA law and legalize same-sex marriage. Two days later, the DFL-led Senate votes 37-30 to do the same.

    May 14: DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, in an outdoor ceremony, signs the measure making Minnesota the 13th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

    June 26: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down key parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, similar to the one Minnesota voters rejected.

    Aug. 1: Gay and lesbian couples can legally wed in Minnesota.

    Sources: Star Tribune archives; National Conference of State Legislatures; Washington Post; Associated Press; Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life; Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

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