Reporting Edgar Linares
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When Twin Cities PRIDE takes over Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis this weekend, things will be a bit different. This year, festival goers can expect a few key changes fueled by the passing of the Marriage Equality Bill.
In past years, PRIDE helped couples legitimize their relationship by hosting civil unions, but with the new bill signed into law, those types of ceremonies will be a thing of the past.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports
Dot Belstler, executive director of PRIDE Twin Cities, expressed her delight with the changes.
“We opted not to have the commitment ceremony area, knowing that people could be legally married in a month,” Belstler said. “We’re going to have a wedding showcase area with multiple vendors, florists, photographers, wedding planners, music — everything you need for a wedding.”
People will also find “boomertown,” which is an area sponsored by the American Association of Retired Peoples (AARP).
“A lot of times people think PRIDE is for younger folks,” Belstler said. “But really there’s a significant population of older LGBT folks, and now they can come together and connect in this new space.”
The event is a staple in the GLBT community and this year’s festivities are sure to draw over 300,000 attendees.
As of Aug. 1, 2013, same-sex couples can legally marry in the state of Minnesota. Hennepin County has already received more than 36 same-sex marriage applications and Ramsey County has more than a dozen.
According to a study out of UCLA, it’s estimated around 5,000 same-sex couples will get married in Minnesota over the next three years.