Same-sex marriages begin in Minnesota, Rhode Island – Washington Post

Minnesota and Rhode Island became the 12th and 13th states to recognize gay marriage Thursday, with Rhode Island’s first same-sex weddings performed this morning and Minnesota’s just after midnight:

Dozens of Minnesota gay couples made last-minute preparations Wednesday for midnight marriages, determined to exchange vows at the earliest possible moment under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage.

Weddings were scheduled to start at the stroke of midnight at Minneapolis City Hall, St. Paul’s Como Park, Mall of America’s Chapel of Love and at county courthouses sprinkled around the state. One group planned a cluster of weddings in a Duluth tavern.

“It feels historic. It’s an honor to be a part of it,” said Tim Roberts, the Stearns County court administrator, who planned to perform a 12:01 a.m. wedding at the courthouse in St. Cloud. . . .

via Same-sex marriages begin in Minnesota, Rhode Island – Washington Post.

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Betty Crocker toasts marriage equality with wedding cake tasting | San Diego Gay and Lesbian News

Three of the first same-sex couples who will legally marry in Minnesota on August 1st visited the Betty Crocker Kitchensat General Mills Headquarters in Golden Valley, Minnesota to taste-test wedding cakes for their ceremonies. The company has kindly donated the cakes to the couples for their celebrations, which will take place this Thursday at midnight. The couples will be wed at Minneapolis City Hall and the Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul.

via Betty Crocker toasts marriage equality with wedding cake tasting | San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

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Advocates launch campaign to bar workplace discrimination against gays – Washington Post

A coalition of civil rights groups is launching a $2 million campaign aimed at mobilizing support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has languished on Capitol Hill for nearly two decades.

The coalition, called Americans for Workplace Opportunity, is targeting 13 senators in 11 states in hopes of replicating the strategy gay marriage advocates have used to push successful state ballot initiatives.

The effort includes gay rights groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and the GOP-leaning American Unity Fund, as well as the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Service Employees International Union.

via Advocates launch campaign to bar workplace discrimination against gays – Washington Post.