By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Among the thousands celebrating Pride this weekend are gay married couples, but just five years ago voters in Minnesota were locked in a heated political battle over a constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage.

In the end, the amendment was defeated, and just six months later the Minnesota Legislature voted to make gay marriage legal. Two years after that, the U.S. Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in all 50 states.

The seismic shift is even evident in this year’s crowded Minneapolis mayoral race. Candidate Tom Hoch is running an ad starring his husband, Mark Addicks. The couple were guests on WCCO Sunday Morning.


“It’s been heartwarming that people have embraced this change so quickly,” Hoch said. “They see gay people as loving, caring people who are entitled to have loving, enduring relationships.”

While gay marriages are increasing, they still represent a tiny fraction of overall marriages. A 2016 U.S. Treasury Department research paper estimated that in 2014 there were just under 3,000 married gay couples in Minnesota. In the entire country, the number of gay marriages was 131,000.

Those numbers may be low, as the study was based only on couples who filed joint tax returns.

Esme Murphy