Northland couples reflect on same-sex marriage legislation

By KBJR News 1

May 13, 2014 Updated May 13, 2014 at 6:39 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- On this day one year ago, history was made for same-sex marriage in the state of Minnesota.

It was the day the Minnesota Legislature voted no, which would lead to the signing of the bill into law making Minnesota the 12th state to legalize gay marriage and since that day...

"It's a secure feeling being married and being recognized as being married" said a happily married, Barbie Evans.

Barbie and Rose Evans, like many same sex couples, were watching the Minnesota legislature very closely one year ago.

"We were watching it pretty closely because Rose was pregnant at the time and it would have meant that we would have been able to get married before Mackenzie was born, which we were able to do" said Evans.

And with Barbie now carrying their second baby, their family continues to grow.
Duluth Husbands Gary Anderson & Gary Boelhower, were at the state capitol last year during passage of the same-sex marriage bill.

"There were couples there who had been with each other for 40 years, for 20 years... waiting for this day and it finally happened in Minnesota" said Gary Boelhower.

It may be just a law to some, but to these couples, it represents a change in culture that has been happening.
Anderson says the biggest change for him was when Boelhower's son referred to him as his step-father.

"To have this affirmation from my step-son, who is a former marine, nonetheless, and he's in many respects a very conservative young man, but he respects me and loves me, so much so that he is comfortable to introduce me as his step-dad" said Anderson.

The struggle for equal acknowledgement of marriage is still not over. Living in the twin ports means that married couples have to think differently if they wish to cross the bridge to Wisconsin.

"Rose is looking for a job, she decided that if she got a job in Wisconsin, it wouldn't really work for tax purposes and it would make everything a lot more confusing" said Evans.

A decision couples will have to continue to make.

Gary Anderson and Gary Boelhower say they will be celebrating the signing of the bill into law by Governor Dayton at T-Bonz tomorrow night.

Bryce Henry
bhenry@kbjr.com