Local Gay Couple from ’71 Lawsuit Still Together

When Jack Baker and Mike McConnell were denied a marriage license in Hennepin County in the ’70s, they sued. While the U.S. Supreme Court declined the lawsuit, the couple did go to Blue Earth County Minnesota and obtained a marriage license using a different, gender-neutral name for Baker. The license was challenged in court but never invalidated.

The first gay couple in the country with a legal marriage is still together 40 years later and witnessing the same-sex marriage debate resurface in Minnesota. Both Baker and McConnell are now 70, retired, and living in South Minneapolis. The two are writing a book about their life together, which was filled with discrimination and challenges. The PiPress offers a look into their experiences.