The University of Minnesota created a special exhibit honoring America's first gay marriage, and now the exhibit is being loaned out for display in other states. The University of Minnesota Library's GLBT studies program was responsible for the exhibit, which is part of its Tretter Collection.
We all know about the many benefits of same-sex marriage, and simply from the standpoint of equality and civil rights, the fact that same-sex marriage is now the right of all gay couples is something to be celebrated. However, just because it is now legal for gay couples to get married, it is not a good reason for partners to run to make a beeline to their local churches and courthouses to tie the proverbial knot. There are benefits and drawbacks of being married and both should be considered.
In the summer of 2015, a landmark case called Obergefell v. Hodges came to a close. The Supreme Court was overseeing the case, and they ruled on June 26 that same-sex marriage couldn't be banned on the state level. This led to a lot of changes to marriage law around the country as states that still made it illegal had to update their laws.
As much as we might think language is static the truth is it is very dynamic. You might occasionally hear the word "hark" used today, but probably only if you're watching a Shakespeare play. Parcel used to mean partly. Now it pretty much only refers to a package.
The social consciousness in Minnesota around sexual orientation and gender identity has been undergoing significant change in the past several decades. Marriage between same-sex couples was legal in the state long before the U.S. Supreme Court declared marriages legal across the nation last year.
The legal system in the United States is considered the best in the world by many standards. That does not mean it is without complications, and the practice of family law is not immune.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Minnesota for a few years now. With that equity of recognition under state law came equity across the legal board, in theory if not always in practice anyway.
While we discussed the impact of the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hedges in our July 3, 2015, post, we know that legal experts are still determining the full range of legal issues the ruling will affect. The newly married same-sex couples will learn that marriage comes with many legal benefits -- including the employer-sponsored benefits we talked about last time -- and just as many legal obligations.
Unless you're personally connected to the issue, it may not be clear exactly why the recent decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide is a big deal in Minnesota. After all, same-sex marriage was already legal here, and we have a number of other laws protecting the civil rights of LGBT people. Wasn't the Supreme Court just forcing other states to do what Minnesota has already done?
At a certain age, you begin to think about some of the decisions you've made over the years. At times, you may ask yourself, "What was I thinking?" In some cases, you can honestly say, "It seemed like a good idea at the time." It's over and done with; now it's time to move on.