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Andrea Langworthy's column: Love is in the air

By the time you read this, many same sex Minnesota couples could be packing their bags, preparing to embark on a long-awaited honeymoon. Just imagine: sightseeing in San Diego, canoodling in Cancun or sipping Sangria in Spain, reliving the wedding you feared would never be afforded to you.

All because our state did the right thing and legalized gay marriage.

I watched the state senate debate the marriage amendment. When the vote was tallied, I burst into tears. Two young men, one a customer of my husband, came to mind. My husband and I had dinner with them a number of years ago. I thought their story would make a nice Valentine's Day column for this paper.

The couple had made a commitment to each other in a ceremony in New Orleans the year before. Their plan had been to live in the Pelican State, where one had been raised, but a hurricane named Katrina changed their plans. Instead, they bought a house in Minnesota, home state of the other, and made it into a home.

They go to work, pay taxes and entertain their friends and family. Just like me. Just like you. Now, they're looking forward to their wedding day.

After Governor Dayton signed the bill making gay marriage official, many same sex couples who were interviewed mentioned how many years they had been together. Many had been committed to each other for decades. Many have children. Now, they can plan a wedding. A honeymoon, even.

Some people are upset that same sex marriage is legal in our state now. Some think it will affect the quality of their own marriage. Some quote the bible as evidence that it is wrong. Sinful even.

As a person whose marriage to her grade school sweetheart didn't last, all I can think is, why should I get a second chance at marriage when others couldn't have even one because they fell in love with someone of the same sex?

I am reminded of a sign someone posted on Facebook. Similar to one you might see outside a church; a white background and a quote put together with reusable black magnetic letters that can be changed to display an upcoming sermon topic or Bible verse.

It went something like this: "Don't worry, my gay marriage won't affect your fourth marriage.

The law went into effect Aug. 1. Minneapolis and Saint Paul planned big celebrations for those wanting to take the plunge on day one. Starting at midnight, Mayor R.T. Rybak officiated ceremonies for 42 couples in the City Hall rotunda in Minneapolis.

On the city's website, Minneapolis By Nature (, Mayor Rybak is quoted as saying, "August 1 will be one of the most historic days for freedom and equal rights in the history of Minneapolis, and we are thrilled to celebrate it with the joy and dignity that these two couples, the others that we will marry and everyone in our city deserves."

The mayor went on to say, "August 2, and every day after it, will be just like every day should be: one where everyone has the freedom to marry and commit for life to the person that they love."

Start the music. Pour the champagne. Let the celebrations begin. Happily ever after is for all in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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