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After 53 years, St. Paul duo celebrates 1st Valentine's Day as married couple

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When same-sex marriage in Minnesota was legalized in May, many longtime couples rushed to tie the knot.

But these two St. Paulites define "longtime couple" – Joe O'Brien, 82, and Ramon Granda, 83, have been together 53 years, the Pioneer Press reports.

The newspaper has a lengthy profile of the pair, who met in July 1960 and spent more than five decades building a business and life together. But Friday marked the first Valentine's Day of their marriage.

O'Brien said that for most of his life he had been discrete about his sexual orientation because such things were never discussed. But it's gotten easier, he said.

"So much has happened this year, it's unbelievable," he told the newspaper. "In all the years we've lived together, we've seen so much history in our lives."

Other couples who have been together for decades have offered similar sentiments.

"I will always remember putting this on his finger," John Darby told AFP, touching the wedding ring on the hand of Jack Bird. The California couple have St. Paul's O'Brien and Granda beat by about a year – they met in 1959, and married five years ago.

Said Darby: "It was a marvelous day."

In New York, Richard Adrian Dorr and John Mace, who first met at the Juilliard School of Music in 1948, became public faces in the fight to legalize gay marriage in the state, the New York Times reported.

“We’ve become poster boys — poster seniors, I should say — because even if we don’t live to see it, we’ll have been of some help in getting it to happen,” Dorr said. The two were married in 2012 after gay marriage was legalized in June 2011.

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