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University of Minnesota shares its gay marriage exhibit

The University of Minnesota created a special exhibit honoring America's first gay marriage, and now the exhibit is being loaned out for display in other states. The University of Minnesota Library's GLBT studies program was responsible for the exhibit, which is part of its Tretter Collection.

The exhibit honors the same-sex union of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell, who traded vows back in the 1970s in Minnesota. The same-sex love union is seen as the first legally recognized gay marriage in the United States. The display, which is now on loan at the Rochester Public Library in New York, includes photographs and other documents from the marriage of the two men, dating back to their marriage on Sept. 3, 1971.

The two Minnesotans, Baker and McConnell, are also making appearances to talk about their book, entitled, "The Wedding Heard 'Round the World." The book chronicles the journey of the two spouses, which eventually ended at the church alter, when they said: "I do." The talks and exhibit are intended to inspire conversations in communities and families about issues of equality and gay marriage. The talks are open to all and attendance is free of charge.

Although same-sex marriage is now legal in all states, according to a Supreme Court ruling last year, gay couples may still face unique legal issues pertaining to their marriages -- legal issues that would not apply to different-sex couples. For example, issues and disagreements could potentially arise concerning child custody disagreements between a biological parent and a non-biological parent. Minnesota same-sex couples may, therefore, wish to speak with a family law lawyer to talk in detail about their legal rights and limitations as married gay spouses.

Source:, "'America's First Gay Marriage' exhibit on display at library," accessed Nov. 10, 2016

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