Many couples looking to tie the knot now that same-sex marriage is legal in Minnesota won't have to wait much longer. Starting June 6, marriage license applications will be available to same-sex couples in Hennepin County.
By state law, couples have to wait five days to get married after applying for a marriage license, but the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said Thursday that couples can apply in advance to be ready for Aug. 1, when the Freedom to Marry Act goes into effect.
The new applications will be available at all six Hennepin County Service Centers beginning next Thursday. Filling out the application online and bringing it in to be certified could save some time too.
Minnesota's marriage equality law changes the word "marriage" to "civil marriage," and changes the definition of those eligible from "a man and a woman" to "two persons."
The new Hennepin County marriage license application replaces "bride" and "groom" with "first applicant" and "second applicant" to accommodate same-sex couples.
Minneapolis City Hall plans to open at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 1 to allow same-sex couples to marry, and Mayor R.T. Rybak has offered to officiate.
A marriage license purchased in Minnesota only allows you to be married in Minnesota and an application must be filed at least five days before the wedding date. The license will be valid for six months. You do not need to be a Minnesota resident to apply for a license.
WHAT TO BRING
1. License application
2. Both individuals to be married, or if one can't come in, a supplemental form for the party not appearing – signature must be notarized.
3. Identification (driver's license or state ID)
4. If one or both of you has a felony conviction, you must provide proof of service papers (MS 259.13)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Following a 75-59 vote in the House and a 37-30 vote in the Senate, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage and the first Midwestern state to pass it by a legislative vote.
Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill granting all Minnesotans the freedom to marry during a signing ceremony held on the Capitol's south steps on Tuesday, May 14.
"What a difference a year and an election can make in our state," Dayton said.