Talk:Michael McConnell and Jack Baker

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Pie throwing?[edit]

Is this the same Baker who helped organize the Target City Coalition in St.Paul, responsible for throwing a pie at the Archbishop in 1977? That The Advocate wrote were "the most stoned-out, off-the-wall, bona-fide crackpots yet to appear in the gay rights cause", per the sources I used in Save Our Children? That's a detail that should probably be included if so.

Moni3 (talk) 13:57, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

complaint lacks merit[edit]

The complaint is concerned with an event that occured long after Jack Baker ended his career as student body president. He served as defense counsel for Patrick Schwartz, 22.


A 25-year-old Roman Catholic lawman says it was his idea to have a pie thrown at Archbishop John R. Roach, and was not the plan of a Jesuit priest as reported today in the Minneapolis Tribune.

Dennis Miller, St. Paul, a homosexual, told The Minneapolis Star today that he paid $20 to Patrick Schwartz, 22, Minneapolis, also a Catholic homosexual to throw the pie at the archbishop at the Thursday night Brotherhood dinner of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

He said he wanted the pie thrown to protest the church's stand against a homosexual-rights bill before the Minnesota Legislature.

He said he was admitting his culpability because an article in today's Tribune implicated a Jesuit priest - a former chaplain to Catholic homosexuals - as the person who originated the idea and offered to pay $25 if it was carried out.

The Rev. George P. Casey, a Minneapolis Jesuit who was chaplain for a little more than a year of the local chapter of Dignity, an organization of homosexuals, said today he was "more than a little upset" at the Tribune report which, he said, pointed to him as planner and financial-underwriter of the pie-throwing incident.

He said, however, that he had known of the possibility there might be such an incident.

"I was asked if I wished to participate," he said. "I declined to be involved. I have not been involved. I felt a great sense of relief that the archbishop had suffered no physical injury to his person."

Miller said he told Casey of the possibility that a pie might be thrown at the archbishop because of the anger in Catholic homosexual community, but that the priest refused to discuss such an idea. "He was quite rude about it," Miller recalled.

"If I had known that Father Casey would be alleged to be connected with the incident, I would never have participated in it." Miller said.

The claimed involvement of a "Jesuit chaplain" in the incident was attributed in the Tribune article to [Thom] Higgins, a controversial figure in the homosexual community and an official of a "pagan" church for homosexuals.

Miller said that Higgins "and perhaps others" are "cynically attempting to harm the reputation of good and noble priests."

Casey was succeeded as chaplain of the local Dignity chapter by a Dominican priest, the Rev. Herbert Hayek, who is on the staff of the Newman Center. Masses for Dignity members are held at the Newman Center. Occasionally they are celebrated by the Rev. Henry F. LeMay, a Granite Falls priest, who testified for the homosexual-rights bill at a hearing in the Minnesota Legislature.

Stephan Endean, chief lobbyist and coordinator for the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights, the state's largest organization of homosexuals, told The Star today he strongly opposed the pie-throwing incident, although he said he understands the anger and frustration Catholic homosexuals feel at their church. He said the incident probably has jeopardized the dialogue his organization was hoping to develop in the "next couple years."

Endean said the homosexual-rights legislation is definitely dead for this session of the Legislature. And since 1978 is an election year, he doubts that the bill has a chance until at least 1979.

The Thursday night dinner at which the pie was thrown at Roach and at which he received a National Brotherhood Award ended abruptly. The archbishop will give the talk he was to have given at the dinner at 6:30 p.m. today on WCCO-TV, Channel 4.

Extremely POV sentence[edit]

"Next, they used adoption as a weapon in the battle for recognition of the inherent right to bond with the adult of one's choice. Pursuant to the adoption decree, they applied a second time for a license to marry, which was granted." "...recognition of the inherent right..." Paints Baker as a champion of justice and Minnesota as a cruel oppressor.

Just because most people share an opinion doesn't make it a fact. (talk) 02:21, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

reply #1[edit]

"Paints Baker as a champion of justice and Minnesota as a cruel oppressor."

In 1970, Minnesota law did not forbid two adult men to obtain a license to engage in a marriage contract.[2]

The rule of law[3] guarantees recognition to matter not denied. The Minnesota Supreme Court refused, for this reason: "The institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation or rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis". Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 at 186 (15 Oct 1971)

An inherent right to bond with the adult of one's choice was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, then dismissed (10 October 1972) "for want of a substantial federal question" (see Baker v. Nelson). The high court has again accepted that question for review in 2013, this time as an inherent constitutional right.

Facts speak for themselves.

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 11:50, 8 January 2013 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 19:39, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

reply #2[edit]

"Just because most people share an opinion doesn't make it a fact."

The complaint is backward. Just because some people despise an inherent right, their opinion is not a fact.

A federal court in California concurred (2010). "The freedom to marry is recognized as a fundamental right protected by the Due Process Clause [of the U.S. Constitution]."[4]

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 10:32, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

reply #3[edit]

Equal treatment under law is an inherent right

As explained to a forum of more than 2,000 "Baby Boomers" at the University of Winnipeg:[5] Equity and fair play requires that (1) when a state grants childless heterosexual couples special rights and benefits, (2) an inherent right guarantees to childless same-sex couples the same treatment.

Fake facts are a distraction. Special rights exclusively for special people is not The American Way. That's why NAACP proclaimed same-sex marriage to be "the civil rights issue of our times”.[6]

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 15:00, 29 March 2013 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 14:01, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

reply #4[edit]

It's time to now accept as neutral the facts as written. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the decision of the federal court in California (2010) to stand. [6]

The 5-4 ruling was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who warned that the Supreme Court has never allowed private citizens, such as backers of a state ballot initiative, to defend state laws in lieu of elected state officials.[7]

No one has yet to explain any difference between the term "fundamental right" used by the Federal court and the term "inherent right" which gave rise here to a dispute.

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 20:32, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Extreme POV problem[edit]

This article needs a major rewrite. Starting with the second sentence, which includes the phrase "the inherent right to bond with the adult of one's choice" this article has a major POV problem. (talk) 16:42, 6 January 2013 (UTC)


In 1970, Minnesota's laws did not forbid two adult men to receive a license that would solemnize a marriage contract. The rule of law[8] requires that matter not denied is permitted. In Hennepin County, the Clerk of Court refused to comply with the marriage law, as written. All justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court concurred, for this reason: "The institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation or rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis".[9]


According to Jack Baker and Michael McConnell, they used adoption as a tool to defend their inherent right to bond with a marriage contract. Pursuant to the adoption decree, they applied in Blue Earth County for a license to marry, which was granted. No court — state or federal — has ever invalidated the contract executed according to the marriage laws in effect at the time.

two complaints lack merit[edit]

The inherent right to bond with the adult of one's choice was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, then dismissed (10 October 1972) "for want of a substantial federal question" (see Baker v. Nelson). Our high court has again accepted that question for review in 2013, this time as an inherent constitutional right.[10] The opinion published by the Minnesota Supreme Court and shared by most people likely will not be upheld as constitutional fact.

article is rewritten per request by[edit]

Confusion expressed will be clarified further after the U.S. Supreme Court declares whether gay men and women inherit a constitutional right to bond with the adult of one's choice.

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 11:57, 8 January 2013 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 08:39, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

A re-write of history[edit]

Preview: opening sentence[edit]

"Jack Baker (born Richard John Baker, 1942) is a gay activist in the U.S. state of Minnesota, who pressed the case for LGTB rights, especially same-sex marriage, from 1969 to 1980."

Internal contradictions[edit]

Modern terms cannot be extrapolated to explain historical events.

Because Jack Baker returned to a very private life in 1980, the term LGTB does not apply to him. "In use since the 1990s, the term LGBT is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which itself started replacing the phrase gay community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s."

What happened in the 1970s is more properly referred to as a Modern Gay Movement, which was the work product of college students. The first campus organization run by and for gay students in the United States surfaced at Columbia University in 1968.[11] The University of Minnesota followed their lead a year later – before what is now called the Stonewall riots.

Students at the University of Minnesota demanded a license to marry in 1970. That event ignited self-pride across the country, which spread around the world. In their own words, “Baby Boomers” explained why. Their letters will soon be available for public viewing at the Tretter Collection.[12] Y6f&tP4z (talk) 17:28, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

reply #1[edit]
No need to get worked up. I don't disagree. What would you say in place of LGBT rights? "gay rights", "gay and lesbian rights"? Even "modern gay movement" doesn't work unless it's a modern gay movement for something. It is the gay movement for equal rights? The modern gay and lesbian movement for equal rights? Make a suggestion. Do we need the word "modern" and what does that mean here? I'm going to use my favorite for now.

BYW, we need better sources than unpublished material and blogs. There's a big Internet full of sources. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 18:07, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

My answer #1[edit]

Why do you get "to use my favorite" to describe Jack Baker? The "something" is marriage equality. A "Modern Gay Movement" accurately describes what came after the 1960s. The push for marriage equality began in 1970 and continued worldwide for 43+ years. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 19:53, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

reply #2[edit]
Again, we can discuss this. I said I would "use my favorite for now". For now. Not forever. I still have no idea how you think the sentence should read. This?
a gay activist in the U.S. state of Minnesota, who advocated for marriage equality for gays and lesbians from 1969 to 1980
But wasn't his work about more than marriage equality? He starts with "discrimination by employers recruiting on campus" and spends time on students rights, too. (I bet you won't find the term "marriage equality" back in his day either. The idea, yes. The phrase, no.)
And on Wikipedia, the term "marriage equality" is recognized as a term used in the LGBT community and advocates of same-sex marriage. It's considered tendentious and representing just one point of view. And Wikipedia wants us to write from a neutral point of view. Try going to marriage equality and see where you land.
Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 21:16, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
My answer #2[edit]

I fail to see what is wrong with the original text:

Jack Baker (born Richard John Baker, 1942) saw himself as a gay activist[13] in the state of Minnesota (U.S.A.), beginning in mid 1969 until 1980.

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 08:34, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Unwanted references[edit]

"we need better sources than unpublished material and blogs."

Aside from blogs, what references are unpublished? Please identify.

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 14:51, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

references deleted needlessly
1. predecessor to FREE[14] — restored by Y6f&tP4z (talk) 04:46, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
2. FREE news release[15] — restored by Y6f&tP4z (talk) 04:46, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
3. New York Times[16] — restored by Y6f&tP4z (talk) 04:46, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
4. Quatrefoil Library[17] — restored by Y6f&tP4z (talk) 04:46, 26 March 2013 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 13:00, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Misstatement of fact[edit]

It is factually incorrect to describe Jack Baker as a person "who pressed the case for equal rights for gays and lesbians, especially the right of same-sex couples to marry."

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 16:19, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

historically accurate:
Jack Baker (born Richard John Baker, 1942) is a gay activist in the U.S. state of Minnesota, who pressed the right of same-sex couples to marry, from 1969 to 1980.
Y6f&tP4z (talk) 08:24, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Career in law and politics[edit]

Historic facts are accurate even if link below “might have been removed” by the Secretary of State.

In 2002, Baker opposed the re-election of Paul H. Anderson. In the Plebiscite mailed to more than 14,900 attorneys in Minnesota, he questioned the special relationship between the Minnesota Supreme Court and MNC.[18] Baker won 30% of the votes.[19] Y6f&tP4z (talk) 10:43, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
I've updated the reference there to include an archived copy made in 2008 by the Internet Archive. --j⚛e deckertalk 21:45, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. The UNOFFICIAL RESULT was posted one day after the election. The official record of 100.00% updated 11/8/2002 3:26:34 PM by the Secretary of State would be more accurate. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 20:55, 30 May 2013 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 15:08, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect reference[edit]

[The County Attorney] convened a grand jury, which "studied the legality of the marriage but found the question not worth pursuing."[20]

The reference links only to an Article Preview that is unrelated: "Baker, an outspoken leader of the Gay Liberation Movement, has been ruled eligible for the Minnesota bar examination by examiners who found that he did not fraudulently obtain the license with which he entered into a homosexual marriage."

A correct reference: ... not worth pursuing."[16]

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 21:17, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

The unrelated Article Preview was moved to a relevant location.

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 10:43, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Encyclopedia or dream?[edit]

Why is the neutrality of this article disputed? The only objection is, it "Paints Baker as a champion of justice and Minnesota as a cruel oppressor."

According to The New York Public Library: "Given yesterday's [26 June 2013} historic Supreme Court decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, it's good to take a moment to look back at the struggles for marriage equality."[21]

Wikipedia should not pander to a single complaint offended by fact.

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 09:05, 29 June 2013 (UTC)


Facts behind adoption[edit]

FINDINGS AND DECREE [Judge Lindsay G. Arthur]
. . .
6. The Petition is granted. The name of Richard John Baker is changed to Pat Lyn McConnell.
. . .
Adoption is generally considered to be a means by which a man and woman can share their marriage, their love, and their protection with a child. Probably more than ninety-nine per cent of the adoptions in the United States are for this purpose. To many people, the idea of using adoption for monetary gain, or for a tax avoidance, or as a seal of an affection between two adults is a travesty, sapping the concept and status of adoption for the children to which it is principally applied.
But regardless of popular conception, adoption is not limited to children nor is is limited to real or simulated parent/child or older person/younger person relationships. Adoption is available to any two people, whatever their motives or reasons, provided only that the person adoption shall have resided in the state and that it be in the best interests of the person being adopted. Such is the will of the people or Minnesota as expressed in their statutes; and since adoption is completely a matter of statutes, without any basis in the common law, Courts can neither increase nor decrease the boundaries of the law.
Thus here the Court may neither praise nor condemn the action because the parties are of the same sex and approximately the same age, though they thrice denied that this was a motive for desiring adoption. Nor may the Court approve or disapprove the adoption because, according to the only evidence or record, it is solely for the money purpose of giving the person being adopted a possibility of inheriting ten thousand dollars.
The person adopting is a sufficient resident of the state. The person being adopted gains a potential monetary benefit which is in the best interests. The Statute is satisfied, the Court is adjured to strict compliance with it. The adoption is granted. [3 August 1971]
Y6f&tP4z (talk) 19:15, 4 August 2013 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 19:57, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Facts about marriage in Minnesota (1970)[edit]

In 1970, Minnesota laws did not forbid a marriage contract between two men.[2] Hence, the sex of applicants need not be identified. The Clerk of Court in Blue Earth County did not ask. A license, lawfully issued, was signed by the Rev. Roger Lynn, a United Methodist minister. No court revoked the contract.[16]
verbatim:[22] Jack Baker and Mike McConnell may have the first legally undisputed marriage between persons of the same gender. The couple were married in September, 1971 by a United Methodist minister in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after securing a marriage license from the district court clerk of Blue Earth County, Minnesota. All of this was consistent with Minnesota law. Subsequent to their marriage however, the Minnesota Supreme Court in Baker v. Nelson, 29l Minn. 310, 191 NW2d 185 (1971) held that Minnesota law "does not authorize marriage between persons of the same sex and that such marriages are accordingly prohibited." However, the "federal constitution prohibition against ex post facto laws, U.S. Constitution Article l, Section 9(3), forbids the imposition of punishment for past conduct lawful at the time it was engaged", and hence the Minnesota high court's decision does not reach back to Baker and McConnell since the two were married "a full six weeks" before that decision.
Y6f&tP4z (talk) 08:20, 14 August 2013 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 08:21, 15 August 2013 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 02:10, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Where's the dispute?[edit]

This unsigned comment uses "presumably" to justify a hurtful misstatement of fact. Since 15 December 2008, I see on this talk page only disdain for unwelcome facts, but not a single offer of proof that the article lacks neutrality.
Why does Wikipedia pander to those whose only contribution is to insist that some facts should disappear?
Y6f&tP4z (talk) 21:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 19:57, 13 August 2013 (UTC)


Why is the neutrality of this article in dispute? What will it take to resolve it? Y6f&tP4z (talk) 19:31, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

1. On 8 August, I asked "Where's the dispute?". Ten weeks have passed with no response. That must mean, there is in fact no dispute. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 20:33, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
2. No proof is offered to demonstrate that this article lacks neutrality. To the contrary, time has now proven that a dispute does not exist. Please remove the message that asserts otherwise. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 03:47, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
3. The message alleging an undisclosed lack of neutrality and a fake dispute appears to be nothing more than a malicious attempt to smear the good name of Jack Baker. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 08:51, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
4. What is the proper way to file a complaint? Y6f&tP4z (talk) 08:51, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
5. Mediation requested, Decision. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 07:32, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Who defined the gay agenda?[edit]

Many groups claim credit for marriage equality without bothering to explain how “first” is defined. Not surprisingly, they are more than willing to offer their own version of history. Thomas Kraemer, a retired professor at Oregon State University (OSU), for example, argues that “the seeds for gay marriage equality were planted by a homophile movement founder, W. Dorr Legg”[23], who published “Homosexual Marriage” as ONE magazine’s cover story in 1953.

As he sees it, the gay-marriage-equality debate in the U.S. began with the 1953 ONE piece, which was a “thought experiment”[24] to question the consequences of gay men and women asking for equal rights. Its publisher was a professor at OSU who followed “Dr. Magus Hirschfeld's discussions of gay marriage [in Germany], nearly a century ago”. Much of Hirschfeld's work “was dismissed by early gay activists [in the U.S.] probably due to poor translations and the fact much of it was burned by the Nazis.”

Thomas Kraemer:[25] "Gay activists in the early 1970s roundly rejected Jack Baker's theory that the legal and political acceptance of gay marriage would be proof that gay people were being treated equally under the law as required by the U.S. Constitution."

Founded on 19 May 1969, FREE became "the first student gay organization to gain recognition in the upper mid-west," the news release from the University of Minnesota's newest student organization proclaimed. "Its leaders believe it to be the first such organization on a Big Ten campus."[26] Moving openly and aggressively, members of FREE slowly transformed Minneapolis into a "mecca for gays".[27] Y6f&tP4z (talk) 21:32, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Diary of Jack Baker: "... few if any lesbians agreed to support the agenda of marriage equality sponsored by FREE. Many argued that marriage served men as an institution that oppressed women. A coalition calling itself GLBT was founded early in the 1980s, partly to persuade gay men and women who opposed same-sex marriage to accept FREE's agenda of full equality."

Who discussed same-sex bonding across the millennia, who blessed such unions, who planted seeds for gay marriage equality are all, in my opinion, a distraction. What matters most is who dared to demand marriage equality[15] from the civil government and why[28]. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 14:44, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Thomas Kraemer:[29] Jack Nichols was editing one of the first gay newspapers in NYC and the country. While I was helping him and his biographer, he "very objectively acknowledged the common East Coast bias of ignoring anything those farmers in Minnesota did, such as gay marriage, because everything at that time was centered on the New York City news media."

The New York Times (1973) explained why a license issued in Blue Earth County remained in effect after the Hennepin County grand jury refused to indict the minister who solemnized the contract.[16] The Family Law Reporter (1974) reviewed the facts and concluded that the lawful marriage contract solemnized by Rev. Roger Lynn was “the first legally undisputed marriage between persons of the same gender”.[30]

Thomas Kraemer: "In Sept. 1971, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell were the first same-sex couple in history to be legally married. They married under the State of Minnesota marriage laws that did not specify gender at the time and despite [two] challenges to [invalidate] their marriage, no court has ever ordered the annulment of their legally performed marriage . . ."Thomas Kraemer[31]
− When he says "no court has ever ordered the annulment", he's referring specifically to the State of Minnesota, but the statement applies also to the federal government. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 17:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
− Attempts to claim veteran's benefits were indeed rejected by federal courts.[32] However, as DOMA confirmed, a refusal by the federal government to recognize a lawful marriage is not the same as a decision to invalidate. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 17:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
− No court in the state of Minnesota has ever ordered an annulment of the marriage license lawfully issued by Blue Earth County and solemnized by the Rev. Roger Lynn. The New York Times (1973) [then the newspaper of record] and The Family Law Reporter (1974) each confirmed independently what professor Kraemer later concluded (2013): a student group recognized by the University of Minnesota[33] hosted "the first same-sex couple in history to be legally married". Y6f&tP4z (talk) 20:09, 22 January 2014 (UTC) Y6f&tP4z (talk) 09:11, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

That marriage ignited a contentious political debate worldwide and defined the gay agenda for 40+ years. Proof is in the pudding. Without question, credit belongs to gay students at the U of M. According to Thomas Kraemer, east coast activists were completely opposed to marriage.[34] Worse, FREE was mocked as those "farmers in Minnesota”.[29] There was indeed a riot at Stonewall (preceded by another at Maud's in San Francisco), but it had nothing to do with marriage equality.

Diary of Jack Baker:[35] The County Attorney in both Blue Earth County and Hennepin County attempted to invalidate the marriage license issued in Blue Earth County. The former bragged that he had invalidated the public document by defacing it, while the latter asked the Grand Jury to indict the minister who consummated it.

Even the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union [New York City] has unclean hands. Its board showed “little or no enthusiasm”[36] in the marriage issue raised by FREE. The Minnesota Civil Liberties Union went to the U.S. Supreme Court ALONE, unashamed, at its own expense. The self-pride promoted by U of M students need not, and must not, be dishonored by those who consistently claim credit for what they did not do.

Thomas Kraemer:[37] "I firmly believe Baker and McConnell's gay activism was a work of genius. They were called lunatics because few people grasped the long-range significance of gay marriage. This has only recently [2004] proven to be the flashpoint in the war for full equality."

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 09:49, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Historical fact, young students, short documentary[edit]

Records at The National Archives certify that "McConnell and Baker’s marriage license [from Blue Earth County, MN] was never revoked. They are still married and have been for the last forty two years."[38]

− students in grade 7, Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet of Public Schools in Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
− deemed a finalist during National History Day in Minnesota, awarded Honorable Mention, Junior Group Documentary

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 20:36, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Employment discrimination[edit]

The Board of Regents rescinded the University Librarian's offer to hire Michael McConnell after he applied for a license to marry another male.[39] Two weeks prior, four students were shot and killed by National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University. Perhaps widespread panic there explains why regents here felt a need to withdraw the offer.

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 21:22, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Early Biography is weak.[edit]

He and his partner are the first pioneers in the fight for gay marriage and deserve at least as much a biography as Faygele Ben-Miriam has. (talk) 07:00, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Records at The National Archives certify that "McConnell and Baker’s marriage license [from Blue Earth County, MN] was never revoked. They are still married and have been for the last forty two years."[38] Y6f&tP4z (talk) 13:20, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
How does that lessen their importance to gay marriage history? (talk) 21:01, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
The entire article does not lessen their importance. Instead it affirms their role as “the first same-sex couple in history to be legally married”.[31] Y6f&tP4z (talk) 01:52, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Bragging rights[edit]

According to Andy Birkey,[40] the modern gay agenda began in Minneapolis [Minnesota, USA], not San Francisco or New York City.

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 14:57, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Jack Baker, a stage name[edit]

Jack Baker was a stage name used by Richard John Baker in the 1970s to promote full equality for gay men and women. A degree of anonymity allowed privacy. He and Michael McConnell[41] applied in Hennepin County for a license to marry, then appealed its denial to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which dismissed the claim. The decision in Baker v. Nelson was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which, in 1972, was required to review a State’s interpretation of federal law. The case was dismissed "for want of a substantial federal question."[42] The State argued successfully that the marriage license issued previously in Blue Earth County proved that the "Questions Raised by This Appeal Are Moot."[43]

Before the Minnesota court halted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, which were not forbidden by existing statutes,[44] Baker and McConnell re-applied, this time in Blue Earth County, succeeded and became the “first same-sex couple in history to be legally married”.[31] The 1972 decision "does not reach back to Baker and McConnell" since the two obtained their license and were married "a full six weeks"[22] previously. The National Archives came to the same conclusion.[38]

Baker and McConnell were gay activists in the U.S. state of Minnesota from 1969 to 1980. They were invited often to appear publicly in the U.S.A. and Canada at college events, schools, businesses, churches, etc.[45]


  • Richard John Baker, born 1942; James Michael McConnell, born 1942 [see prelude, volume 0 (zero), for birth certificates]
  • Jack Scott, his stage name, 1962+:
Memo from Mike Scott (B. Michael Belile), Program Director, WJBK Radio 15, Storer Broadcasting Company; "To Whom It May Concern", 2 July 1969. "Richard J. Baker appeared as a character on my radio show in San Antonio, Texas, on Radio Station KONO, from about September, 1962 until about April or May 1963. He was introduced to my audience as Jack Scott and was represented as my Brother" [see volume 7a, section II].
Jack [Scott], "Strange Set Member Gives His Viewpoint", Oklahoma City Times, 14 October 1966, page ? [see prelude, volume 2]
  • Jack Baker, his stage name, 1969 - 1980
President of the student group that hosted the “first same-sex couple in history to be legally married”,[31] a conclusion confirmed by the National Archives.[38] University recognition was approved by the faculty in 1969. [see volume 1a, section I].
A student body president, University of Minnesota; elected 1971, re-elected 1972 [see volume 6]
  • Pat Lyn McConnell, his new family name, changed by Judge Lindsay G. Arthur, 3 August 1971
Adopted by Michael McConnell; see "Facts behind adoption", above [see also volume 3, section II]

Y6f&tP4z (talk) 15:41, 6 August 2014 (UTC) / Y6f&tP4z (talk) 21:52, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Is marriage a constitutional right?[edit]

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday, 16 January 2015, "to decide the issue Jack Baker and Mike McConnell tried to bring before it in 1972: Do same-sex couples have a constitutional right to get married?"[46] That case was dismissed "for want of a substantial federal question."[42] Minnesota's Attorney General argued, in 2015, as a friend of the court: "The procreation rationale [used by the Minnesota Supreme Court] does not support the prohibition of same-sex marriage."[47] Y6f&tP4z (talk) 18:46, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Later that year, the high court said that "same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry."[48] In so doing, it declared: Minnesota's decision in "Baker v. Nelson must be and now is overruled". Y6f&tP4z (talk) 09:46, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

A memoir[edit]

"At the dawn of the modern gay movement (while New York’s Stonewall riots and San Francisco’s emerging political activism bloomed), these two young men insisted on making their commitment a legal reality."

University of Minnesota Press, "The Wedding Heard ’Round the World", 2016; available online. Y6f&tP4z (talk) 11:36, 14 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Willman Thorkelson, "Homosexual takes blame for pie-throwing, clears priest", Minneapolis Star (14 May 1977), 5A
  2. ^ a b Anon., "Minnesota Statutes Annotated", West Publishing Co., June 1969, c. 517.01 – Marriage a civil contract. "Marriage, so far as its validity in law is concerned, is a civil contract, to which the consent of the parties, capable in law of contracting, is essential."
  3. ^ Henry Campbell Black, "Black's Law Dictionary", West Publishing Co. (Revised Fourth Edition, 1968), 1497. Rule of Law: "A legal principle, sanctioned by the recognition of authorities, and usually expressed in the form of a maxim of logical proposition."
  4. ^ Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 704 F.Supp.2d 921 (N.D.Cal. 2010) at 991; decision by U.S. District Court available online, 110. "Plaintiffs challenge a November 2008 voter-enacted amendment to the California Constitution (Proposition 8 or Prop 8)".
  5. ^ Jack Baker, "The right to be human and gay", Manitoban (13 March 1972); as published by Ken Bronson, "A Quest for Full Equality" (2004), 70; available online from Quatrefoil Library
  6. ^ Hollingsworth v. Perry, U.S. Supreme Court opinion, 26 June 2013 available online
  7. ^ Howard Mintz, "Prop.8: Supreme Court ends California ban on gay marriage but fight remains", Monterey County The Herald (posted 26 June 2013) available online
  8. ^ Henry Campbell Black, "Black's Law Dictionary", West Publishing Co. (Revised Fourth Edition, 1968), 1497. Rule of Law: "A legal principle, sanctioned by the recognition of authorities, and usually expressed in the form of a maxim of logical proposition."
  9. ^ Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 at 186 (15 Oct 1971)
  10. ^ David G. Savage, "Marriage case sets up clash of court titans", Star Tribune (10 December 2012), A1+
  11. ^ Anon., "National On Campus Report", Magna Publishing Company, Madison WI (December 1972)
  12. ^ "Some Letters From Inside The USA" available online
  13. ^ Successors renamed the movement LGBT.
  14. ^ Anon., "National On Campus Report", Magna Publishing Company, Madison WI (December 1972)
  15. ^ a b Anon., "News from", Fight Repression of Erotic Expression, 17 May 1970; Quatrefoil Library: "Any relationship that promotes honesty, self-respect, mutual growth and understanding for two people and which harms no other person should be accepted by the law."
  16. ^ a b c d Anon., "Homosexual Wins Fight to Take Bar Examination in Minnesota", New York Times, 7 January 1973, 55. "Thus the marriage remained in effect."
  17. ^ Ken Bronson, A Quest for Full Equality (2004); available online from Quatrefoil Library
  18. ^ Jack Baker, "2002 Judicial Plebiscite", Minnesota State Bar Association (September 2002)
  19. ^ Anon., "2002 Judicial Election Results", Minnesota Secretary of State (23 May 2003); available online, accessed February 7, 2012
  20. ^ "Homosexual Wins Fights to Take Bar Examination in Minnesota". New York Times. January 7, 1973. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  21. ^ Jason Baumann, "Jack Baker and James McConnell", New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (27 June 2013); available online
  22. ^ a b Anon., "Gay married couple frustrated in adoption bid", The Family Law Reporter, published by The Bureau of National Affairs, 10 December 1974, page 2103
  23. ^ email, from Thomas Kraemer; Founder of Oregon State University Foundation, Magnus Hirschfeld Fund to Jack Baker, 18 Nov 2013
  24. ^ email, from Thomas Kraemer to Jack Baker, 24 Nov 2013
  25. ^ Thomas Kraemer, "Jack Baker gay marriage theory was right", My blog, posted 8 April 2009; available online
  26. ^ Anon., "News from", Fight Repression of Erotic Expression, 1 November 1969
  27. ^ Lily Hansen, "F.R.E.E. At Last", GAY, 11 May 1970, 13
  28. ^ Michael McConnell, "Marriage - my childhood dream comes true", November 2013
  29. ^ a b email, from Thomas Kraemer to Jack Baker, 7 April 2013
  30. ^ Anon., "Gay married couple frustrated in adoption bid", The Family Law Reporter, published by The Bureau of National Affairs, 10 December 1974, vol. 1, no. 5, 2103
  31. ^ a b c d Thomas Kraemer [professor, Oregon State University, retired], "Gay marriage discussion in 1953 vs. 1963 and today", Tom's OSU, posted 16 December 2013; available online
  32. ^ "McConnell v. Nooner", No. 4-75-Civ. 566 (D. Minn. 20 April 1976); aff’d, 547 F.2d 54 (8th Cir. 1976)
  33. ^ In Minnesota, perhaps the entire U.S.A., this university is unique. The state's constitution proclaims it to be the fourth branch of government. As such, it retains an inherent right to decide exclusively how to promote the proven success of its gay students and law school.
  34. ^ Thomas Kraemer, "Gay marriage pioneer Jack Baker starts blog", Tom's OSU, posted 4 April 2012; available online
  35. ^ email, from Jack Baker to Thomas Kraemer, 13 Dec 2013
  36. ^ See, letter from Norman Dorsen (General Counsel for ACLU in 1970), published by Jason Smith, "Gay Pride Block Party Case", Friends of the Bill of Rights Foundation, January 2012, page 52; U of M Libraries
  37. ^ Thomas Kraemer, "Lunatics or Geniuses?", posted 21 June 2004; available online
  38. ^ a b c d Anon., "Hidden Treasures from the Stacks: pushing for equality", The National Archives at Kansas City, September 2013, 7; available online
  39. ^ James F. Hogg, Secretary, Board of Regents, University of Minnesota (10 July 1970); letter to Michael McConnell – "... your conduct, as represented in the public and University news media, is not consistent with the best interest of the University."
  40. ^ Andy Birkey, "Bragging on Minneapolis: The top 10 ways the city made LGBT history", The Column, posted 17 July 2014; available online
  41. ^ Baker and James Michael McConnell, both born 1942
  42. ^ a b Greenhouse, Linda (March 20, 2013). "Wedding Bells". New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  43. ^ George M. Scott, Hennepin County Attorney. "Appellee's Motion to Dismiss Appeal and Brief" in the Supreme Court of the United States, page 7. October Term, 1972 [see The McConnell Files, Full Equality, a diary; volume 2b; section III].
  44. ^ Anon., "Minnesota Statutes Annotated", West Publishing Co. (June 1969), c. 517.01 – Marriage a civil contract. "Marriage, so far as its validity in law is concerned, is a civil contract, to which the consent of the parties, capable in law of contracting, is essential."
  45. ^ See The McConnell Files for historical items preserved in the Tretter Collection (TBD) at the University of Minnesota, specifically Full Equality, a diary; volumes 2c, 2d; section VIII.
  46. ^ Roger Parloff, "12 key moments that led to the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage case", (16 January 2015); available online
  47. ^ Lori Swanson, Attorney General, State of Minnesota; "Brief of the State of Minnesota as AMICUS CURIAE in support of petitioners", Obergefell v. Hodges; In The Supreme Court of the United States, March 2015, 18; available online
  48. ^ Obergefell v. Hodges, 26 June 2015, at 22-23; available online

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