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Minn. Counties Seeing Big Jump In Marriage Licenses

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wedding season is in full swing at A. Johnson and Sons florists in St. Paul. But the shop on Grand Avenue is about to get a whole lot busier as same-sex couples begin tying the knot, starting Aug. 1.

“We feel this is going to be a real increase for all florists in Minnesota,” Tom Johnson said.

County court houses and service centers all across the state have been busy since early June. That’s when marriage license applications first became available to same-sex couples.

“It’s been new ground, we didn’t really know what to expect,” Ramsey County Department of Public Health spokesman, Chris Burns, said.

So far, Ramsey County has processed 155 same sex marriage applications since June 6. That’s roughly an increase of 33 percent in all marriage licenses.

Hennepin County’s six public service centers don’t differentiate between heterosexual and same-sex license applications. But County Registrar Mark Chapin says the total number of marriage applications is up some 26 percent over the same period a year ago.

“We’re experiencing about 8 to 10 couples coming in every day and those numbers have definitely picked up in the last few weeks,” Burns said.

While she arranges flowers for other soon to be married couples, Cynthia Porter’s work is taking on new meaning.

That’s because she and her partner of 12 years are looking forward to their own marriage on Sept. 22.

“It really feels like we’re finally coming together,” Porter said. “I’m going to have lots of bright colors and different textures and I get to play with some things and make some wonderful things for me and her!”

There’s precious little time to get the application in time for a wedding on Aug. 1.

In Ramsey County, the application has to be done by 4 p.m. Friday.

In Hennepin County, several of the service centers will be open on Saturday, like Ridgedale, Southdale and Brooklyn Center.

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