By Jennifer Mayerle, WCCO-TV
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It has been one year since same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota.
Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Freedom to Marry Act into law on the steps of the Capitol. The moment was met with cheers and a flood of emotions from thousands at the event.
One couple reflected Wednesay upon their right to marry and what this last year has meant to them.
A typical night for Brad Weber and Ryan Pfeifle is spending time together and with their sons. That’s the way it’s been with their family for a decade, but the decision to legalize gay marriage changed their status.
“We never thought it would happen, so when the vote came down, we were so excited,” Pfeifle said.
The couple officially married the first day they could, just after midnight on Aug. 1, 2013. While their family dynamic didn’t change, reactions to it did.
“When we said husband, it was more of that understanding that exists in society,” Weber said.
Having their marriage recognized by the state meant the couple filed their taxes together for the first time and had the option to share health insurance.
“We get all of the rights that everybody else in Minnesota was already getting,” Pfeifle said.
But the biggest bonus was with their sons.
“It’s inheritance rights and what if something happens to me?” Weber said. “Ryan is protected to inherit the house and the kids inherit that as a reflection of that too.”
Now they can enjoy life, instead of having to endlessly advocate for their rights.
“We live in Eden Prairie with dogs and kids like any other family, so to not have to do that anymore, it’s like a huge weight that’s been lifted,” Weber said.
Nearly 14,000 same-sex couples were reported living in Minnesota in 2010. That’s the last time there was a government count.
Hundreds married on the first day they could.