PHOTO: On May 18, 1970 Michael McConnell and Jack Baker were married by Hennepin County Minnesota Justice of the Peace, which was not barred by law in Minnesota at that time and which led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage in1972. (See previous post Gay marriage pioneer Jack Baker starts blog (confirmed) (4/4/12))
in my previous post Gay marriage history on PBS by Marc Solomon still omitting Jack Baker and Michael McConnell (3/2/16), I show two books about the history of the fight for gay marriage -- one by Marc Solomon, "Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits--And Won," Foreedge 2014 and the other book an autobiography by Michael McConnell, with Jack Baker, as Told to Gail Langer Karwoski, "The Wedding Heard 'Round the World - America's First Gay Marriage," University of Minnesota Press, 2016, which chronicles Michael McConnell's marriage to Jack Baker, whose marriage activism led to the first U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage in 1972. Also, in another previous post (PBS history of gay marriages in 1975 Boulder omits Jack Baker and Michael McConnell (7/1/16)) I mention how the history of gay marriage is often retold incorrectly as being a recent thing and I include a still from a PBS documentary that omitted any mention of Jack Baker's U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in 1972, but it did show the 1975 marriage of Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan who legally obtained a marriage license in Boulder, Colorado. The documentary fails to document how, these two men had been inspired to marry by Jack Baker's story.
Therefore, I was happy to see a series of Jim Burroway's blog posts that provide a good summary of gay marriage history over the last century, which includes Jack Baker's 1972 U.S. Supreme Court decision and the 1950's and 1960's discussion of "homophile marriage" that was printed in a homophile activist magazine edited by the former Oregon State University Professor W. Dorr Legg. See the excellent series of Jim Burroway's blog posts as listed below:
- Jim Burroway, "Today In History, 1971: Minnesota Couple Stake Claim To First American Same-Sex Marriage," boxturtlebulletin.com posted Sep. 3, 2016 (NOTE UPDATE TO BLOG POST Sep. 4, 2016)
- Jim Burroway, "This Month In History, 1953: ONE Magazine Debates 'Homosexual Marriage,'" posted Aug. 20, 2016 -- includes quotes from a letter writer who satirically warns gay men that fighting for "acceptance" by society would require them to follow the social norms of that era, which outlawed all sex outside of wedlock in most states
- Jim Burroway, "Today in History, 2004: Massachusetts Becomes First State With Marriage Equality," boxturtlebulletin.com posted May 17, 2016 -- discusses the case that most people today will inaccurately credit as the beginning of the gay marriage movement
- Jim Burroway, "The Daily Agenda for Friday, April 1: 15 YEARS AGO: First Gay Couples Marry in Netherlands: 2001," boxturtlebulletin.com posted Apr. 1, 2016 -- credits The Netherlands for becoming the first country in the world to offer marriage equality in 2001
- Jim Burroway, "The Daily Agenda for Tuesday, May 5: Marriage In Hawaii, Almost: 1993," boxturtlebulletin.com posted May 5, 2016 -- discusses how Hawaii almost became the first jurisdiction to allow same-sex marriages in 1993, but it was nixed by anti-gay forces
- Jim Burroway, "Today In History, 1970: Minnesota Couple Seek Marriage License," boxturtlebulletin.com posted May 18, 2016 -- discusses the battle Mike McConnell and Jack Baker waged, starting in 1970, to get a marriage license and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage in 1972. The post-Stonewall gay liberationists shunned Baker and the idea of gay marriage because they shared a then popular idea of sexual freedom with many young heterosexuals, but the freedom to have sex with multiple was quickly abandoned after the AIDS crisis surfaced in the 1980's and anonymous gay sex became to equal death.
- Jim Burroway, "This Month In History, 1963: 'Let's Push Homophile Marriage,'" boxturtlebulletin.com posted June 20, 2016 -- discusses how ONE magazine, the nation's first nationally-distributed gay publication, had called for a push for "homophile marriage" in 1963, but once again perhaps in a sarcastic manner to make a point
Also, see previous post Jack Baker case still cited to bar gay marriage (3/12/11) and also the following links:
- Some of the legal history of the first U.S. Supreme Court gay marriage decision brought by Jack Baker is included in a blog post by the law professor Art Leonard, "Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Case Loses Round One," artleonardobservations.com posted Mar. 9, 2011 (Note: Arthur S. Leonard, is a professor at New York Law School since 1982, edits the monthly newsletter Lesbian/Gay Law Notes)
- I added a comment and question to Art Leonard's post -- see Comment Posted by: Thomas Kraemer | March 10, 2011 at 04:21 PM where I mention the trick used by Baker to force a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage in 1972, albeit a decision that was only a few words long
- Joyce Murdoch and ?Deb Price, "Courting Justice: Gay Men And Lesbians V. The Supreme Court," Basic Books, May 9, 2002 -- a good book that extensively quotes the Law Professor Arthur S. Leonard on gay law, including the Baker gay marriage Supreme Court ruling in 1972
Finally, here is a list of some other and unrelated posts by Jim Burroway that you may find interesting:
- Jim Burroway, "This Month In History, 1888: Transman Discovered In Iowa Prison Hospital," boxturtlebulletin.com posted August 10, 2016 -- a 19th Century medical journal reported, "A woman from her early youth had dressed in male attire, was universally regarded as a man, married and lived with a woman as a husband. She was recently arrested for horse-stealing and sent to the penitentiary; in the hospital of which her sex was discovered."
- Jim Burroway, "Born On This Day, 1880: Radclyffe Hall," boxturtlebulletin.com posted Aug. 12, 2016 -- (d. 1943) Influenced by the writings of Havelock Ellis (Feb 2), Radclyffe Hall described herself as a "congenital invert," typically dressing in masculine clothing