The Quad City Times published a story today detailing how many same sex couples have married in this state since 2009. It's possible that some of these numbers are actually higher, since one is not required to record their gender on marriage license applications:
StatewideNearly 6,000 same-sex couples have legally married in this state over the past five. Many are homegrown. Many others come from other states.
2012 – 1,247 marriages
2011 – 1,302 marriages
2010 – 1,594 marriages
2009 – 1,783 marriages
Iowans were warned about pastors being jailed and churches being shuttered over opposition to gay marriage. We were warned that kindergartners were going to be educated about gay sex acts. We were told that the state would suffer if same-sex marriage was allowed to happen. And then we were warned that the stage would suffer if same-sex marriage was allowed to continue.
But things have been okay. Pastors continue to avoid jail despite public opposition to homosexuality and gay families. Churches routinely avoid hosting any wedding that they don't want to host. Heterosexuals continue to get married to each other and their kids are doing fine. The only difference now is that gay and lesbian families are now protected by the rights, responsibilities, and benefits of marriage.
Sadly, there is one additional thing that hasn't changed over the past five years. The Republicans and Iowa's culture war social conservative leaders are still fighting to eliminate same-sex marriage in Iowa:
“As you know, battles like this ebb and flow,” said Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center... The group is part of the Family Leader organization, which led recall efforts to remove Iowa Supreme Court judges in 2010 and 2012. They were successful the first year, but not two years latter... He said the pendulum will swing back in favor of traditional marriage, permanently. “We have thousands of years of tradition and teaching over all the major faiths,” he said...Social conservatives argue that gays and lesbians are trying to destroy the institution of marriage based on the fact that we are trying to get married. So their solution is to destroy the institution of marriage -- at least the marriages of same-sex couples like myself and my husband. It's a frustrating disconnect.
At 8:20 a.m. on Feb. 4, state Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull, sent an e-mail to his fellow Republicans. “I have another version of the marriage amendment that adds the word ‘natural’ before ‘man’ and ‘woman.’ This is for your consideration to support traditional marriage, which is in our platform and keep it before the people in this election year,” his email began. It ended with a note that the legislation was on his desk if anyone wanted to sign. “I think I finally had 13 or 14,” Alons said last week.
He admitted it’s a different feeling now from 2011 when the House held open hearings on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and all of the then-60 GOP members signed the legislation.
But it's also an exciting milestone! One I'm sure we will see much celebration soon!