WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 17, 2013, 06:05 PM

Clay County same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Several same-sex couples in Clay County are one step closer to marriage.

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Several same-sex couples in Clay County are one step closer to marriage.

Today was the first day they could apply for a marriage license at the court house in Moorhead.

The new, gender-neutral licenses were made available at 8 this morning. Today same sex applications were submitted. A few couples I spoke to say this day is a day they never thought they'd see.

It's the day Lenny Tweeden and his partner Wayne Rosell have been waiting 28 long years for.

Lenny Tweeden, Applying for License: “It's a whole different world from how it was back then.”

The couple was here bright and early when the Clay County Court House opened to apply for what they are now legally allowed to do.

Tweeden: “It’s something that I didn't think would happen in my lifetime.”

Minnesota's law was signed into law in May, allowing same sex couples to marry on August 1st. Legal in the eyes of the state and the federal government. The civil marriage license applied for today will not become valid until the new law goes into effect, but will provide time for the five day waiting period to enable couples like Lenny and Wayne to marry on the historic day.

Another couple says now that the word “applicant” replaces the words "bride" and "groom," on the marriage license, they feels more equal.

Jan Titus, Applying for License: “It is a step in the right direction and I just hope that North Dakota comes along to, but I don't have my hopes to high.”

Minnesota's Management and Budget office estimates about 5,000 same sex couples will marry in the first year of the new law. Lenny and Wayne along with Jan and Robert will be among the first same sex couples in Minnesota to say “I do” when the clock strikes midnight on August first at a special ceremony held here at the Clay County Courthouse.

Titus: “In the last couple of days we have quite a guest list that wants to show up.”

The Clay County Courthouse will be open from 11:30 p.m. on July 31st to 1 a.m. on August 1st. If you're a couple looking to get married on this day, make sure to contact Court Administration before 4:30 p.m. on July 29 so you can be accommodated.