MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When the definitive history of the gay rights movement is written, two Minnesotans could well get their own chapter.
Way back in 1971, Jack Baker and Mike McConnell legally obtained a marriage in license in Mankato.
The couple did use some legal maneuvering that included Jack Baker changing his name to the gender neutral Pat Lyn McConnell.
Eventually the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against them and the U.S. Supreme Court chose not to hear their case.
More than 40 years later, their case was part of the legal basis for the Supreme Court ultimately finding gay marriage is legal and the law of the land.
Another legal twist recently made them officially the longest legally married gay couple in U.S. history.
Their story is told in their boon “The Wedding Heard ’Round the World: America’s First Gay Marriage,” available here.