May 18, 1970, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell moved in to a courthouse in Minneapolis, paid $10, and sent applications for a wedding license. The county clerk, Gerald Nelson, declined to provide it for them. Clearly, he told them, wedding had been for folks associated with the sex that is opposite it had been silly to consider otherwise.
Baker, a law pupil, didn’t agree. He and McConnell, a librarian, had met at a Halloween celebration in Oklahoma in 1966, right after Baker had been pressed from the Air Force for their sex.