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Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak Launches Campaign to Promote Marriage Equality Tourism

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak wants gay couples to come to Minnesota and get married, MPR News reports:

RybakThe Democratic mayor officiated 46 same-sex weddings on August 1, when the new law went into effect. He's inviting same-sex couples from other states to hold their ceremonies in Minneapolis.

Rybak is traveling to Chicago this week to launch an ad campaign, followed by visits to Madison, Milwaukee and Denver.

"Heck, if we get 30 couples from Chicago to come up here and do a wedding, that's 30 weddings, 30 wedding parties, 30 rentals of great places, 30 florists," said Rubak. "You begin to ripple that through the economy — now it's assumed we're going to get more than 30 — that's a lot of money...We really think this could have a very significant financial impact."

The Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association, a co-sponsor of Rybak's campaign, is offering free wedding planning services to interested couples.


Openly Gay Minister Ordained by Minneapolis Presbyterian Church: VIDEO

Vigilante

Daniel Vigilante became the first openly gay Presbyterian minister in Minnesota on Saturday, KARE11 reports:

Daniel Vigilante is now the minister of outreach at Trinity Community Church at 28th and Humboldt Avenue. He tried to get ordained 13 years ago, but he had to remove himself from the process because the church wouldn't accept his sexual orientation.

"This is just an enormous step for the Presbyterian Church and such a statement that the church is a place for everyone," he said. "It's inclusive. It's for young and old and gay and straight. Men and women can be a part of it and be in full leadership."

Vigilante is one of just about a dozen gay and lesbian members who have been ordained since 2011 when the Presbyterian Church lifted its ban on gay clergy.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Openly Gay Minister Ordained by Minneapolis Presbyterian Church: VIDEO" »


Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau Marries Partner (and Fellow Officer) of 25 Years

Harteau

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau (left) married Sgt. Holly Keegel, her partner of 25 years ("on and off the force") on Friday, the Star-Tribune reports:

They waited a few days to take advantage of the Aug 1 law that gave same-sex couples the right to marry in Minnesota. Chief called me first Saturday because when I interviewed her in June, I asked if they might marry. She told me they would, opening with a joke: “We’ve been together for 25 years but we’re still not sure. I couldn’t be any more married. Now we’ll just make it legal. Of course, we will.”

Keegel, who signed off on Harteau calling to giving me the scoop, had told the media-friendly chief this marriage news better not leak out ahead of time.

Harteau and Keegel told the paper that they wanted to keep the wedding private since they are so often in the public eye, and began planning it about a month ago. Mayor Rybak officiated the ceremony, which took place atop the W Hotel. 20 friends and family including their teen daughter Lauren attended.


Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau Marries Partner (and Fellow Officer) of 25 Years

Harteau

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau (left) married Sgt. Holly Keegel, her partner of 25 years ("on and off the force") on Friday, the Star-Tribune reports:

They waited a few days to take advantage of the Aug 1 law that gave same-sex couples the right to marry in Minnesota. Chief called me first Saturday because when I interviewed her in June, I asked if they might marry. She told me they would, opening with a joke: “We’ve been together for 25 years but we’re still not sure. I couldn’t be any more married. Now we’ll just make it legal. Of course, we will.”

Keegel, who signed off on Harteau calling to giving me the scoop, had told the media-friendly chief this marriage news better not leak out ahead of time.

Harteau and Keegel told the paper that they wanted to keep the wedding private since they are so often in the public eye, and began planning it about a month ago. Mayor Rybak officiated the ceremony, which took place atop the W Hotel. 20 friends and family including their teen daughter Lauren attended.


Wheelchair-Bound Man Arrested for Vandalizing Pro-Gay Minnesota Church Four Times: VIDEO

Roseland

Lonny Lloyd Roseland has been arrested in Maple Grove, Minnesota for vandalizing the gay-friendly Pilgrims United Church of Christ four times since May, CBS Minneapolis reports:

Around June 2, eggs had been thrown at the building, and the words “Church of Sodom” and “Church of Gomorrah Lev 18:2″ were written on each side of the entrance to the church in black marker. The church pastor said the bible verses were meant to be against homosexuals.

Another bible verse was written on the church on June 8, and on June 30, “Gay Pride? No! Shameful Sodomites! Jude 7. Love cult! Matt 7:21-23″ was scrawled in black crayon on each side of the doorway. Handcuffs also locked the entry way door, and egg yolk was dripping on the entry way glass and sidewalk.

On July 26, authorities placed a camera on the outside of the church, and on July 28, the establishment was egged and vandalized again.

After examining videotape, police questioned Roseland, who is wheelchair-bound, about the incidents. Roseland confessed to the crimes. The station says he told police that “any church that recognizes gays can be married in the eyes of God is not a church but a cult" and that's why he did it.


Marriage Equality Becomes Reality In Minnesota, Rhode Island

Mn

As earlier anticipated, at 12:01 AM this morning same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota and Rhode Island, upping the number of states where gay couples can be legally wed to 13. According to The Star Tribune, couples in Minneapolis started marrying at city hall just after midnight, with Mayor R.T. Rybak and his staff officiating over 42 weddings. The ceremonies and celebrations went on early into the morning, with food trucks, jitneys and even the local Hotel Minneapolis joining in the merriment of what Governor Mark Dayton declared, "Freedom to Marry Day." Though many Minnesotans remain divided on same-sex marriage, at least one couple hoped that same-sex marriages would help to change the hearts and minds of Minnesotans opposed to marriage equality:

“Our wedding will be about celebration and commitment, but will also be about sharing our lives to help people better understand how much the same we all are,” said Phil Oxman, who married his partner 38 years shortly after 1 a.m. in Minneapolis City Hall.

RiWedding ceremonies in Rhode Island did not start until after 8:30 AM Thursday morning when local offices opened for business, though some had expected the ceremonies to commence after midnight as they did in Minnesota. Many have speculated that Rhode Island will not experience as big of a "rush to marry" given that it is the last New England state to legalize marriage equality and many same-sex couples in Rhode Island wed out of state in neighboring Connecticut or Massachusetts. Indeed, Rhode Island's new marriage equality law will recognize those out of state marriages as legal and valid thus eliminating many couple's need to seek an additional ceremony. Still, the state saw gay couples waiting outside to make it legal as city halls opened for business. According to Boston.com:

Kent Stetson and Luis Astudillo were among a handful of couples that came to Providence City Hall first thing to get a license. They planned to get married later in the day, on a street in downtown where they took a memorable walk on their first date 12 years ago.

‘‘We are securing our rights today. We would have been married years ago if we could,’’ Stetson said.

In Newport, a couple that have been together for 41 years, Federico Santi and John Gacher, were previously joined in a civil union, so they were immediately married after getting their license. They had no plans for an extravagant ceremony, saying that in their eyes, their marriage began in August 1972.

‘‘It’s certainly not going to change our lives, but it’s going to change the lives of lots of young people, and that’s what we are really proud of: that now they have the opportunity to get married if they choose to,’’ Santi said.

Congratulations to all the happy couples celebrating today!

(Caption photo via Twitter)


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