This year it is especially momentous as the recent votes in the Minnesota legislature means gay and lesbian couples will be able to legally marry starting August 1. Minnesota is the 12th state to allow same sex marriages, and the second in the midwest, after Iowa. The bill was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton this May, after receiving partisan support in the Minnesota Legislature.
Not only do Minnesota same sex couples now have their relationships legally recognized by the state, this week the Supreme Court ruled on the controversial Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Supreme Court has decided to strike parts of DOMA, meaning that for those same sex or transgender couples choosing to be married in the state of Minnesota, their marriages will be recognized by not just on the state level, but the federal level.
Minnesota, as a state recognizes marriage as a legal status that provides committed couples with critical legal protections, which will now be applied to both same sex and opposite sex couples. These protections run the gauntlet of legal and financial issues, including financial support, responsibilities regarding medical treatment and care, insurance benefits, survivor benefits, parental rights, and even, legal protection in the cases of divorce. Federal recognition means tax benefits as well as social security benefits, as well as having your marriage recognized federally, even if you decide to move out of the state.
So, this year, Minnesota’s annual Pride celebration, which started in 1972 and has grown to one of the nation’s largest, will feature something never seen before: a wedding showcase.
This year, Pride expects more than 450.000 guests, making it a true community event. State Senator Scott Dribble (DFL-Minneapolis) had this to say: “”(Pride) is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate who we are as a whole.”
For information about Pride events happening this weekend, check out the Twin Cities Pride website for details.
For more information about what the new laws will mean for couples statewide, visit Project 515’s marriage FAQ page.