Saturday, March 17, 2012

10 Same-Sex Couples Travel from Missouri to Iowa to Get Married! // Update!!

About 1 1/2 years ago, the 5th Marriage Equality Bus came to my church and I had the opportunity to witness thirteen separate weddings. Ten of couples married that day were lesbians and three of them were gay male couples. They traveled all the way from St. Louis, MO, to Iowa City, IA, to get legally married in our state since they could not get married in their own state. It was touching (and somewhat overwhelming) to witness the creation of so many new families.

Fast forward to today. The 11th Marriage Equality Bus traveled to Iowa City today. Ten gay and lesbian couples gathered at the Johnson County Administrative Building to get their marriage licenses. After posing for various well-wishers, the group traveled to a nearby gay-affirming church for their weddings and lunch.

I would like to congratulate all ten couples on this very occasion. These couples value the concepts of love, fidelity, and commitment that they would collectively travel 265 miles (each way) to join together in marriage. I wish all of these new families long lives of happiness and joy!

Updated on 03/17/12: The Gazette has a report on yesterday's Marriage Equality Bus trip from St. Louis to Iowa City. Looks like the couples got married at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City. The church's pastor, Rev. Steven Protzman, reported that he's married "hundreds" of couples at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City since gays and lesbians gained the ability to legally marry in 2009.

Yesterday, one of our county supervisors wrote on Facebook about the couples gathering at the County Administration building to receive their marriage licenses. I offered the following comment: "Good for them! Now they need to move to Iowa where their new families will be honored!" It was kind of a joke, but kind of not. I mean, if Missouri isn't going to legally recognize your marriage or respect your family, why stay? Interestingly, that sentiment was considered by at least one couple in the Gazette article:
The marriages have provided a boost to the Iowa City economy. Couples who made the trip Friday said they planned to spend some time in town, and many said they planned to return.

“I know me and my partner will come back,” Carla Howell said.

One couple even said they would consider moving to Iowa City because of the acceptance they’d seen during the trip.

“It seems like a peaceful town, they recognize gays and lesbians,” said Sean Mack, who previously married her wife in Missouri, but was happy to make it official in Iowa City. “(We) don’t have to worry about anybody teasing you.”
Personally, I hope Ms. Mack and her wife take the plunge and relocate to Iowa City. They're more than welcome here.

Once again, I congratulate each and every one of these brides and grooms on their special day yesterday!

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