Minnesota church commemorates 52nd anniversary of US's first legally-recognized same-sex marriage
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (WCCO) -- Sunday marks the 52nd anniversary of the first known same-sex marriage in the country, performed in Minneapolis.
Michael and Jack McConnell got married Sept. 3, 1971. They were honored on their anniversary at the church that sponsored their wedding — Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.
On hand Sunday was Rev. Roger Lynn, the same man who married them.
"To be in a place like this, and especially with the man who married us, is truly magical," Michael said.
"I was happy to be recognized by the church that sponsored the first legally-recognized same-sex marriage ever," Jack said.
Michael and Jack, now both 81 years old, were initially turned down for a marriage license in Hennepin County.
McConnell ended up legally switching to a non-gender specific name. They were approved for a license in another county, unbeknownst as to who the marriage license was being issued to.
"I am extremely honored to be part of their journey," Rev. Lynn said.
Lynn married Michael and Jack In an old Victorian home near Franklin and Portland avenues.
"In a lot of ways it was a normal wedding. At the end when I said, you know, 'The two of you may kiss' and they kissed, it just hit me, you know. Wow. This is different, it just shattered things," Lynn said. "When the county attorney tried to get me indicted, that didn't work. The bishop at first, you know, 'Oh my gosh!' But he got so much support for what he had done, he came around and was in support of me."
Jack and Michael spent nearly 50 years fighting in court to get their license officially filed. They finally succeeded in 2017.
Michael said the two have lived by the guiding principles of equality and love ever since.
"Love is the most powerful force in the universe," Michael said. "It can and does transform everything."
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