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Meredith Holt, Published August 04 2013

Same-sex couple at center of 2012 story now having baby

MOORHEAD – The same day 18 same-sex couples were married at the Clay County Courthouse here last Thursday, Allison Johnson and Kelsey Smith celebrated their first wedding anniversary.

“The year has actually flown by, and we couldn’t be more elated about what’s happening in Minnesota,” said Smith, 29.

The Fargo couple’s first year of marriage has been a whirlwind that started with media attention.

Their request to publish their wedding announcement in The Forum last summer spurred an outpouring of support and a change in the newspaper’s policy to allow same-sex engagement and wedding announcements.

“It was just a humbling and overwhelming experience to hear from all the people that we did hear from,” said the 32-year-old Johnson.

After a 15-day Mediterranean cruise following their wedding ceremony in New York, the couple took the next step to form a family.

Until they married, Smith wasn’t sure she wanted kids.

“I really genuinely woke up one morning and this flip had just switched,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, of course I want to have this experience with Allison!’ ”

The couple decided Smith would carry the baby and they would use an anonymous donor from a cryobank.

“Our main goal was to find someone who really emulated Allison’s characteristics as much as possible,” Smith said.

They’re expecting a baby boy in October, but they’re waiting until he’s born to reveal his name.

“I’ll give you a hint: His last name is Johnson,” Johnson said.

The couple say their fight for equality has become even more important now that they’re about to become parents.

“We see now just how long that road really is when we have a little baby boy coming into the picture,” Johnson said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590