US: Gay couples claim a third of all marriage licenses in Minnesota

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An Associated Press survey has found that ever since same-sex couples have been allowed to marry in Minnesota, gay couples have received nearly a third of all marriage licenses in the state.

In August, Minnesota become the 12th US state to legalise same-sex marriages.

Since that time, at least 1,640 same-sex couples have applied to be married, making up a third of all claims to marriage licenses in the state.

Because US counties are not required to report such data to the state, The Associated Press built its own database through calls to all 87 counties.

Senator Scott Dibble, who was a sponsor of the bill, said: “This is the product of people who were living in the legal wilderness for so long, suddenly no longer being told their relationships are substandard.

“There’s an excitement out there right now. I’ve been going to so many weddings lately, it’s like I’m two years out of college again.”

Budget officials of Minnesota estimated that around 5,000 gay couples would marry in the first year.

Its enactment cames as a fast turnaround after voters rejected a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage last year.

Speaking to the Merced Sun Star, Amy Zaroff of Amy Zaroff Events and Design said: ”We are very excited to increase the number of weddings expected to take place in the Twin Cities by 5,000 in the next three years… That could mean as much as $130 million (£85 million) to the local wedding industry.”

In May, the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis was lit up with rainbows in order to celebrate of the passing of equal marriage in Minnesota.

As well as Minnesota, equal marriage also came into effect in the state of Rhode Island.