Michael McConnell and Jack Baker have been married since 1971, over 40 years before the US Supreme Court paved the way for same-sex marriages in the United States Of America.
The couple originally applied for a marriage licence in 1970, after they’d been together for four years, which was rejected because the pair were both male. The pair then decided to fight, appealing time after time until their case suddenly reached the US Supreme Court.
This was the first time that they had been asked to rule on gay marriage, however they refused to hear it “for want of a substantial federal question.”
However, Baker then decided to change his tactic and changed his name to, “Pay Lyn,” so that it was now gender neutral, and low and behold it managed to trick them, and they were soon issued a licence.
When their initial minister dropped out 24 hours before the service the pair were forced hire Pastor Roger Lynn, who had counselled gay people in Minneapolis.
Lynn stated of his responsibility, “It wasn’t just a marriage, it was a social event in the gay community. The Methodist church has always taken a strong stand on social issues … I expected that the progressive side of the church would support me.”
The ceremony took place in Minneapolis, inside an old Victorian home, and the ceremony, which included two grooms on top of the cake and the vows, “husband and husband,” floods of men in tears came up to him to thank him for his efforts, and he immediately knew he’d done the right thing.
However Lynn began to receive hate mail for his work, and was even fired, but then was reinstated on appeal. Bake and McConnell received many letters of support from the far corners of the globe, and they are still legally married, their licence has never been revoked, and reside in Minneapolis.