The Wedding Heard 'round The World: America's First Gay Marriage by Michael McConnellThe Wedding Heard 'round The World: America's First Gay Marriage by Michael McConnell

The Wedding Heard 'round The World: America's First Gay Marriage

byMichael McConnell

Hardcover | January 1, 2016

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On September 3, 1971, Michael McConnell and Jack Baker exchanged vows in the first legal same-sex wedding in the United States. Their remarkable story is told here for the first time—a unique account of the passion and energy of the gay liberation movement in the sixties and seventies. 
 
At the dawn of the modern gay movement (while New York’s Stonewall riots and San Francisco’s emerging political activism bloomed), these two young men insisted on making their commitment a legal reality. They were already crusaders for gay rights: Jack had twice been elected the University of Minnesota’s student president—the first openly gay university student president in the country, an election reported by Walter Cronkite on network TV news. They were featured in Look magazine’s special issue about the American family and received letters of support from around the world.
 
The couple navigated complex procedures to obtain a state-issued marriage license. Their ceremony was conducted by a Methodist minister in a friend’s tiny Minneapolis apartment. Wearing matching white pantsuits, exchanging custom-designed rings, and sharing a tiered wedding cake, Michael and Jack celebrated their historic marriage. After reciting their vows, they sealed their promise to love and honor each other with a kiss and a signed marriage certificate.
 
Repercussions were immediate: Michael’s job offer at the University of Minnesota was rescinded, leading him to wage a battle against job discrimination with the help of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union. The couple eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court with two precedent-setting cases. 
 
Michael and Jack have retired from the public spotlight, but after four decades their marriage is still their joy and comfort. Living quietly in a Minneapolis bungalow, they exemplify a contemporary version of the American dream. Only now, with marriage equality in the headlines and the Supreme Court decision to make love the law of the land, are they willing to tell the entire story of their groundbreaking experiences. TIME magazine listed the twenty-five most influential marriages of all time and included Michael and Jack, and they were recently profiled in a cover story in the Sunday New York Times. Their long campaign for marriage equality and insistence on equal rights for all citizens is a model for advocates of social justice and an inspiration for everyone who struggles for acceptance in a less-than-equal world.
Michael McConnell and Jack Baker are America’s first legally married gay couple. They were married in Minneapolis in September 1971 in a small ceremony officiated by a Methodist minister, with an official license issued by a rural Minnesota county. They met in 1966 in Norman, Oklahoma. In 2010, Michael retired from the Hennepin County ...
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Title:The Wedding Heard 'round The World: America's First Gay MarriageFormat:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.9 inPublished:January 1, 2016Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816699267

ISBN - 13:9780816699261

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"The great appeal of McConnell and Baker’s recommended story is its simple style and the everydayness of their lives. Their appeal is how ordinary people can do extraordinary things. "—Library Journal"The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World serves as a gentle reminder that there were couples plotting this victory long, long before a consensus formed around marriage equality."—The New Republic"Michael McConnell’s easy, personable tone will make you feel like your uncle, father, or grandfather is telling the story of their younger years, and what queer life was like back in the day. His persona alone makes this book an instant classic."—Lambda Literary"A sweet story wrapped inside a righteous fight, told with charm and grace. Start The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World – and you’ll have no defense."—Washington Blade"Recommended for all LGBT-related and general history collections, and especially for readers with Minnesota ties and memories. While we can all justifiably laud 2015’s same-sex marriage Final Answer, we should also save a round of applause for Baker and McConnell, who helped forge the way."—American Library Association’s GLBT Round Table"A timely memoir."—Pioneer Press"Easy to read and good for a nice afternoon, The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World is definitely something to put on your must-read list."—The Spectrum"Theirs is a beautiful love story, fit for admission amongst history’s great classics. A tall tale filled with an enduring hunger for truth, long battles for justice against powerful, unwavering foes, filled with great challenges and crushing setbacks... And finally, a final victory for our two loves as they ride off into the sunset."—EDGE Media Network"The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World is a very important addition to GLBT history. It is a fascinating story of love and struggle GLBT rights. It is a true story that reads like a novel. It also shows that the struggle for equal rights for GLBT people is far from over."—Washington Book Review