Metro counties start accepting applications from same-sex couples

Same-sex marriage
Gov. Mark Dayton signals thumbs up to the crowd after signing the same-sex marriage bill Tuesday, May 14, 2013 on the steps of the State Capitol in St. Paul. Behind him are DFL Sen. Scott Dibble with his husband, Richard Leyva, and DFL Rep. Karen Clark.
MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson

Starting Thursday, gay and lesbian couples will be able to submit early applications for marriage licenses in several Minnesota counties.

Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties are taking applications early, although the state's same-sex marriage law does not take effect until Aug. 1.

The marriage license office in Hennepin County opens at 7:30 a.m. Thursday. Couples applying there will receive a post-dated marriage license the same day, said Eric Jensen of Project 515, a group that pushed for the law.

"You can go in, submit your application," he said. "And assuming everything is correct, then you'll be able to walk out with your license, which won't be valid for same-sex couples until Aug. 1."

Sen. Scott Dibble waves to supporters after the Senate voted 37-30 to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota Monday, May 13, 2013 at the State Capitol.
MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson

Minnesota has a five-day waiting period for all marriage licenses. Counties that are taking early applications will do so until July 26, Jensen said.

Instead of sections for bride and groom, Minnesota marriage licenses now read "first applicant" and "second applicant."

It's a big day for many gay couples, said DFL State Sen. Scott Dibble, one of the authors of the law.

"It seems rather routine, stepping up to a counter and filling out a form, kind of a bureaucratic process," Dibble said. But it is another step, a milestone in full citizenship."

Story: After bill's passge, supporters jubilant
Story: In the rotunda, issue still divisive
Story: Rift remains in southeast Minnesota
Live blog: Recap of Senate vote
Live blog: Recap of House vote
Photos: From the Minnesota Senate
Photos: From the Minnesota House
Maps: Same-sex marriage votes compared
Interactive: Deep roots of the marriage debate
Special report: How the amendment was defeated

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