Gay Marriage Legal In MN: Community Reacts

By KBJR News 1

May 14, 2013 Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - People in the Northland on both sides of the same–sex marriage issue are reacting to passage of the marriage equality bill.

Governor Mark Dayton's signature on the bill makes Minnesota the 12th state to approve gay marriage, allowing same–sex unions to begin at the end of the summer.

Same–sex couples are months away from having their legal opportunity to walk down the aisle.

"My partner is currently pregnant and her due date is August 13th," Barbie Evans, a Duluth community member, said.

Barbie Evans and her partner are planning their lives as parents.

Now that Governor Mark Dayton has signed the marriage equality bill into law, Evans and her partner of more than seven years, now are also able to plan their lives as legal spouses.

"August first would be the best day—the most optimal day—you know, that's the first day it takes effect," Evans said.

Evans went to the St. Louis County Courthouse to learn how soon she and her wife–to–be can say I do.

"There are still 38 states that still need to recognize that gays and lesbians are a part of their community," Evans said.

Many other community members agree.

"I am very excited that it got signed. I think it's about time. I think it needed to happen. And It think all people should be happy and have the right to marry if they choose to," Jessica Sterle, a Duluth Community Member, said.

"We shouldn't have a say in what makes people happy. Because we don't walk in their shoes so we don't know what they are going though and who they love and how they feel about the same sex marriage," Ira Bender, a Duluth Community Member, said.

"I'm totally for it and it's been a long time coming and I look forward to it actually passing," Damian Wendling, a Duluth Community Member, said.

Marriage between one and one woman is no longer the case in Minnesota.

Though many community members are taking the time to rejoice, many other are concerned that the term marriage will lose its meaning.

"I think gay marriage is wrong. It's not spiritually correct," Rory Mikels, a a Duluth Community Member, said.

"In society I think this will weaken marriage in general. I think it's also going to be problematic for children being brought up in society with something other than the traditional home. You know, God orders everything in a certain way for certain balance," Rory Mikels, a Duluth Community Member, said.

Kunst believes that marriage should remain between one man and one woman.

"In some ways you can look at this as the ultimate government intrusion. Because, what other civilizations have ever had anything other than male and female marriages," Father Richard Kunst, St. John Evangelist Catholic Church, said.

For Evans and her partner, they look forward to being role model parents and together, forever.

"It's kind of crazy to think that in three months, not only will I be a mom but a married woman. SO, it's pretty cool," Rose Atkins, a Duluth Community Member, said.

When same–sex couples apply for a marriage license application, just like heterosexual couples, they will have a five day waiting period for the license to be approved.

Justin Reis, NNC,