Michael McConnell and Jack Baker, who applied for a marriage license in Mankato in 1971, are now believed to be the longest-married same-sex couple in the nation, NBC News says. They’ve got the letter from the Social Security Administration recognizing their 1971 marriage to prove it.
“We knew from day one when we were legally married in 1971 that we were right — that we had followed the law to the letter,” Michael McConnell says.
At the time, Minnesota’s marriage laws did not explicitly say that two people of the same sex could not be married. But the county prosecutor told the clerk not to issue the license and they couldn’t get the Social Security benefits they were entitled to, even though the barriers to same-sex marriage fell in 2015.
Last year, a Minnesota judge ruled the marriage valid, and a few weeks ago, the Social Security Administration sent them the letter agreeing.
“This just simply proves that the first same-sex marriage ever recorded in the public files of any civil government anywhere in the world happened in Minnesota,” Jack McConnell said.