The new Minnesota law legalizing same-sex marriage takes effect tonight at midnight and many couples are wasting no time tying the knot.
The first same-sex couple to be married in northwest Minnesota will be Katie Craig and Mary Gonzalez of Grand Forks, N.D. Their ceremony will take place at midnight at the Polk County Government Center in Crookston. The following is an edited transcript of an interview by Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer.
WURZER: Mary, why was it important for you to get married as soon as the new law took effect?
GONZALEZ: Katie and I had been planning to get married as soon as we were in a state that was going to allow same-sex couples to be married. We're in a loving, committed relationship and we want what everyone else wants: we ant to be married to the person we love and we want to be recognized that way.
WURZER: Katie, why was it important for you to get right out there at 12:01 and have a ceremony?
CRAIG: It was the excitement of it. I don't think many people get married at midnight. And also the convenience of it. Since it was such short notice - it didn't pass that long ago - there really wasn't time to plan a huge wedding. It was nice that Polk County decided to offer that service so that we could just go and get it done.
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WURZER: So Mary, how do you feel?
GONZALEZ: I'm excruciatingly excited. We didn't think this was going to happen any time soon. And we didn't think it was going to happen anywhere near us. So the fact that it's happening in Minnesota. My mom's currently visiting from California right now, and I've got family driving from Wisconsin. A ton of friends are going to be there. Honestly they're almost more excited than I am. Almost, but not quite.
WURZER: Katie, how supportive has your family been about your decision to get married?
CRAIG: My dad's been really supportive. My mom, not so much. She definitely won't be attending the wedding, that's for sure. But at least I have my dad.
WURZER: Mary, do you have any friends, same sex-couples, who plan to get married?
GONZALEZ: As far as I know, we're the only ones right now.
WURZER: The only ones getting married in your area. That's got to feel a little like the spotlight is on you.
GONZALEZ: It kinda does feel that way. But I feel like it's a good thing because I feel that there is actually kind of a large community out here in Grand Forks and being in such a conservative area, it's kinda hard to be out and be proud. It's kind of a big deal for people to see there are gay people in Grand Forks. It's kind of ok to be that way.