Same Sex Marriage has Come to Iowa

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled today that the state cannot deny marriage licenses to same sex couples. While it’s not a surprise ruling because when the religious question is removed it is a simple case of discrimination based on sexual orientation that is clearly in violation of state law, it is a bit of a surprise to the born and raised Iowa girl in me. I am used to my home state being hopelessly mired in religious conservatism and other antequated “ism’s”. 

This last weekend we attended a family wedding. The bride’s sister and her fiancée put together the slide show of the mountain top ceremony for those who hadn’t been able to fly up to witness it. They are a very cute young couple, obviously in love and no different from any other couple a person might encounter in Iowa except for the fact that they are both women – something that until today was not done in Iowa. There are plenty of same sex couples there, but they were not able to bring their relationships to the state for “official” validation before today’s ruling.

People argue that marriage is just a piece of paper and that couples can have the same type of thing without the state’s sanction. I suppose they are technically correct, but without that “piece of paper” they do not have the same rights and protections that those with the paper enjoy and that is the real point. You are not married – however much you might protest that you are – without a formal declaration and a certificate to back it up.

Before I left my last teaching job, one of the teachers there and his partner celebrated their 20th anniversary as a couple.  That was two years ago. How wonderful for them if they would be able to celebrate their upcoming 25th as husband and husband.

8 thoughts on “Same Sex Marriage has Come to Iowa

  1. I’m proud to be a born and bred Iowan and now I lift my head even higher. Common sense, eventually, will prevail. I told my friend Peter that should he return home to marry, I will be in his wedding party so long as there are no drag queens because they’re prettier than me and my ego can’t take it.

    But at any rate, HOORAY!! First we choose Obama in the nation’s first caucus and then we legalize gay marriage….it’s freaking out the people who are holding on to stereotypes from American Gothic.

  2. amazing that it was iowa – but hoping that this is a step toward reasonable laws across the US. complete separation of church and state would allow a civil union – regardless of biological plumbing. i’ll drink a toast to Iowa tonight! woo hoo!

    1. Iowans are a sensible, if not overly liberal, lot. It would make sense that we would see the legal fairness before some of our more Midwestern neighbors. Still, the state has not transitioned to the younger generations quite yet and many of our brightest still flee the state, leaving behind the unimaginative and those who rise only to incompetent, sheep-like levels.

      One leap for Iowa is a small step for America.

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