Michael McConnell and Jack Baker | Kay Tobin Lahusen | Gay Today | 14410
Richard John Baker, born 1942, was a gay activist in the U.S.A. between 1969 and 1980. He and his partner James Michael McConnell, also born 1942 were the first American same-sex couple to demand a license to marry and the first such couple to use adoption as a weapon in the battle for recognition of the inherent right to bond with the adult of one’s choice.
In 1971, Baker won the election for President of the Minnesota Students Association at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. He campaigned for – and got – an FM radio station for the students, and the establishment of a housing organisation to provide decent accommodation for the students. He was so effective he was re-elected.
Mr Baker was the first activist to understand the significance of campaigning for gay marriage, and he and his partner Michael applied for a marriage certificate on May 18, 1970. They did not receive it. He also had an understanding of, and campaigned for, intersex and transgender people.
Updated 22 November 2014. Photographer identified. Blog post about gay marriage previously referred to is no longer available.