Forty-two years ago, long before the current wave of same sex marriages across America, two openly gay men, Jack Baker and Mike McConnell, were legally married in the State of Minnesota. For three years the couple had been looking for loopholes in the Minnesota law that would allow them the right to marry.
Finally they achieved it when they received a license almost by accident from the Mankato Minnesota government.
They were legally married on September 3, 1971.
Baker had been a LGBT activist from his freshman year in law school. He was the first openly LGBT person elected Student Body President for the University of Minnesota. The Minnesota Supreme Court overturned the marriage and the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
When marriage equality was passed by Minnesota this year, McConnell wrote:
"Yesterday was a very powerful experience for me," McConnell wrote on Tuesday. "I am so proud of this generation! I'm just so elated to have been alive to see and experience this moment in time. Words cannot describe the feeling. When I saw all those thousands of young and older people together celebrating the victory today, it was overwhelming."
The LGBT community should always be grateful to these two brave and visionary men.
Here are two videos. The first is rare footage of their wedding and the second is the couple on a PBS television show.