As of August 2013, Minnesota joined those states allowing same-sex couples to marry on the same terms as different-sex couples. These marriages are fully recognized in MInnesota, and by the federal government.

Obtaining a Marriage License

Couples seeking to marry in Minnesota must obtain a marriage license by filing an application at a Minnesota courthouse, and paying an administrative fee (this fee may be reduced if the couple documents completing pre-marital counseling). There is typically a five-day waiting period between the time an application is filed and a license is issued, but this can be waived by a district judge.

A license obtained in Minnesota may be used anywhere in the state. The marriage must be performed by a registered officiant (such as a member of the clergy or a judge) in front of two witnesses. One or both spouses may change their names through the marriage process in most cases.

Documenting Relationship Status

Couples not wishing to marry but who wish to document the nature of their relationship may wish to consider registering domestic partnership and/or completing a domestic partnership agreement.

It is worth noting that under Minnesota law, if one spouse in a married couple dies without a will the surviving spouse is likely to inherit the bulk of that person's estate. However, this does not extend to couples who register with a Minnesota municipality as domestic partners, or who only complete a domestic-partnership agreement. All people are encouraged to complete estate planning appropriate to their circumstances and review their plans regularly.