Minn. Same-Sex Couples to Apply for Marriage Licenses Thursday

Updated: 06/05/2013 11:40 PM KSTP.com By: Mark Albert

The first marriage licenses will be issued to same-sex couples in Minnesota history Thursday.

While the licenses will be available in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington counties beginning Thursday, Hennepin plans to issue an "advisory" Wednesday reminding people of what's needed for a license and when couples can start lining up.

The flagship Hennepin County Service Center in the Government Center in downtown Minneapolis will open its doors at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, but couples can start lining up at 6 a.m. if they so choose, a county spokeswoman said.

Click here for a list of the seven service centers in Hennepin county.

Click here for information for Hennepin county.

Click here for information for Ramsey county.

Click here for information for Washington county.

Licenses issues beginning Thursday will not be able to be used until Aug. 1, however, when the Freedom to Marry Act passed this year by the Legislature takes effect.

The fee for a marriage license is $115, or $40 with proof of 12 hours worth of pre-marital counseling.

A survey on Tuesday of about a dozen Twin Cities pastors and churches found that some same-sex couples have already received the counseling.

The Rev. Tomkin Coleman said he has signed a county form certifying completion of the counseling for a same-sex couple who intend to get a marriage license next week.

"It was pretty amazing," The Rev. Coleman said in an interview Tuesday night.

"I've been performing (same-sex) wedding ceremonies for couples for 20 years but they haven't been legal. They've been this personal thing, just with the family, just with society. But the state hasn't recognized it, which now brings a whole new dimension. It's really exciting and really fulfilling for people - including me."