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Unisex marriage applications in the works

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news Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

The end of the rainbow is on the horizon. In two weeks same-sex couples across Minnesota can legally submit marriage applications.

While approximately one-quarter of Minnesota's 87 counties already have forms on-hand, people will have to wait until August 1 to pick up an application at the Douglas County Courthouse.

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"The new applications and licenses are getting printed as we speak," County Recorder Dawn Crouse wrote in an e-mail on Thursday, July 11. "People will still come to the recorder's office as usual to apply."

Couples will need to wait five days after submitting a completed form before they can get married. Licenses are not valid and marriages cannot be solemnized prior to August 1. Courthouse judges can perform marriages, although they, as with religious institutions, are not required to do so.

Couples who don't want to wait until forms are available in their county can go to another county to pick up the paperwork. The county in which a license is obtained is where the marriage will be recorded, but the marriage can take place anywhere in Minnesota. Once a wedding license is issued, it is legal in all Minnesota counties. Wedding licenses are valid for six months.

Same-sex marriages that are legal in other states will be recognized by Minnesota at midnight on August 1, 2013. People living in another state can get a marriage license and be married in Minnesota since the state's expanded marriage law does not include a residency requirement.

The new law is inclusive of transgendered individuals as well.

The cost to obtain a marriage license in Minnesota is $40 with approved premarital education and $115 if premarital education requirements have not been met.

The Douglas County Recorder's Office is located in the Douglas County Courthouse at 305 8th Avenue West in Alexandria and can be reached by calling (320) 762-3877.

DeyCrystal Dey Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter at @CrystalDey_Echo.

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