– A Minneapolis man who fought for his own same-sex marriage more than 40 years ago is celebrating the Supreme Court ruling that said gay couples can marry anywhere in the country.

In an e-mail to the Associated Press on Saturday, Michael McConnell said the high court affirmed the question he and his partner raised 44 years ago — "same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry."

"For me, I'm a patient man, but 44 years is a long time to wait for this intuitively obvious answer," McConnell wrote. "Just glad I'm here to experience it."

McConnell and Jack Baker tried to get a marriage license in Hennepin County in 1970 but were denied. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1972 rejected the men's Minnesota lawsuit to be the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the U.S. In a one-sentence dismissal, justices rejected the appeal on grounds the plaintiffs lacked a federal issue to resolve.

McConnell's memoir with Baker is scheduled to be published in January by University of Minnesota Press.

Associated Press