The U.S. Supreme Court first issued a ruling on the issue of same-sex marriage in 1972.
This week we’ll be sharing stories of #LGBTQ history in our holdings. On Saturday, join us online for our second National Conversation, held in Chicago, on LGBTQ human and civil rights:http://bit.ly/1UB5sCs
The story began on May 18, 1970, when Richard Baker and James Michael McConnell submitted this application for a marriage license in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The deputy clerk of the court accepted their application, but would not issue a license unless the County Attorney approved; the application was later denied.
Baker and McConnell took their case to a Minnesota District Court and then to the state Supreme Court. Their legal arguments were rejected by both.
On October 10, 1972, Baker and McConnell appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied their claim, stating “The appeal is dismissed for want of a substantial federal question.”
Iva Graves, 15, and her new husband William H. Graves, 21, dropped out of an empty freight car in the Minneapolis railroad yards in February, 1937. The two were on the first stage of their honeymoon which they expected would take them, by boxcar, to Chattanooga, where Iva’s relatives lived. After a walk in the loop they stopped a policeman and inquired the direction to the railroad yards of trains headed south. The policeman looked at the girl and when inquiry showed she was a bride, the policeman immediately recalled reading something in the paper about child brides and child marriages. He brought the Graves, along with William’s father William B. Graves, 60, to the city jail for questioning. After a round of questions, the three, who had come from Bemidji, were permitted to leave. They headed straight for the freight yards.
Photo from the Minneapolis Newspaper Photograph Collection at the Hennepin County Library.
This evening I was stopped by a gentleman at the gas station who saw my VOTE NO sticker.
His name was Don and he said, “I am a Vietnam veteran, and I served with a lot of good men. Some of their honeys were girls, and some of their honeys were guys, and you know what? We were all fighting for the same thing. I like your stickers and I just wanted to let you know I’m voting no.”