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Minnesota completes a year of legalized same sex marriages

Marriage is the legal union of two people who love each other. They may be a same sex couple or an opposite sex couple. While opposite sex couples had a right to get married and divorce since the beginning, same sex couples could not legally marry or divorce in Minnesota until very recently.

The marriage equality bill was signed in the Minnesota Senate on May 13, 2013, with Minnesota becoming 13th state to legalize marriage between same sex couples. Over the past year, six other states have legalized same sex marriages, while many others have challenged the bans placed on these marriages.

Since the date same sex marriage was legalized, state records show that almost 3,885 same-sex couples have legally married. It was also stated that Hennepin County registered the most same sex marriages. The clerk records showed that one out of five marriages was registered by a same sex couple in the area.

However, this data may not be accurate, as there is no mechanism in the state to track marriages and some counties do not differentiate between couples while issuing marriage licenses. This data was extracted from Minnesota Official Marriage System database and clerk records, and only names that suggested they were a same sex couple were counted.

According to reports, in 2011, there were more than 12,000 same sex couples in the state. Since the legalization of same sex marriages, many couples married, while some couples who had married elsewhere but could not divorce, as the law did not recognize their marriage, have legally ended their marriage.

Regardless, same-sex and opposite sex couples often encounter the same legal issues when separating. This is why it is oftentimes prudent to have a strong legal strategy in place when it comes time to divorce.

Source: Chron.com, "Minnesota gay marriage law reaches anniversary," Aug. 1, 2014

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