Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm an Iowan Who's Proud to be Iowan Today

I did not do a whole lot for gay rights when in Iowa, but some of my friends were REALLY INVOLVED. One of them is quoted in this article from the Ames, IA newspaper (His comments in bold.) Needless to say, it is a great day to be an Iowan, even if I'm currently far away on the U.S.-Mexico border. I'll be on the road back just one month from today.

Favor: no Iowa jokes for the next several months now, hear? It is the least you can do when we out-liberaled California, the hot-tub haven! Whoo-hoo!

By Kathy Hanson

Published: Saturday, April 4, 2009 9:51 AM CDT

About 100 people gathered near Parks Library on the Iowa State University campus Friday afternoon to celebrate the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage in the state.

“This is history in the making,” Ames resident Joel Geske said. “I’m so proud of Iowa’s continuing role as a civil rights leader, since the 1800s, on the forefront of rights for women, blacks and now gays.”

Gene Larson, also of Ames, said it’s been an emotional roller coaster.

“The announcement brought tears to my eyes,” Larson said. “Now we are free to be who we are.”

People carried brightly colored signs, wore “It’s OK with Me” T-shirts, hugged and smiled broadly.

“Justice has finally been done,” Ames resident Keith Schrag said. “I realize religious people think it’s not right for gays to marry, but I think Jesus is right here with us celebrating.

[I omitted the section on evangelical Christian disapproval here.]

Iowa joins only Massachusetts and Connecticut in permitting same-sex marriage. For six months last year, California’s high court allowed gay marriage before voters banned it in November.

The Iowa justices upheld a lower-court ruling that rejected a state law restricting marriage to a union between a man and woman.

Sean and Tim McQuillan, of Ames, the only couple to get a marriage license during the one day when same-sex marriage was legal in Iowa in August 2007, came from Des Moines wearing their “Supreme Court clothes,” all dressed up in suits and ties.

“Now our marriage will remain legal,” Sean said. “We filed our taxes as a married couple and were happy to pass that legal test.”

Callen Ubeda, president of ISU’s LBGT Alliance, led the rally, shouting, “It’s a wonderful day,” through a megaphone.

Frances Anderson, of Ames, said she was happy for her gay friends “who can now get married.”

Court rules dictate it will take about 21 days for the ruling to be considered final and a request for a rehearing could be filed within that period. That means it will be at least several weeks before gay and lesbian couples can seek marriage licenses.

“The staff has had some phone calls and e-mails with questions,” Story County Court Reporter Sue VandeKamp said.

But, she added, the county would not be taking names or creating a waiting list.

“We don’t want to be in the position of having to call a list of people back,” she said.

Vandekamp said the application process would be in place and available at the beginning of the effective date.

Tribune staff writer Laura Millsaps and Associated Press writer Amy Lorentzen contributed to this story.


Jan said...

Yay for Iowa!

Carol said...

It does my heart good to know that these things can happen.

mmlindsey said...

Misty and I watched Milk a few night ago. It is so dark and gut-wrenching to see how our country, all of us, have drenched the gay community with prejudice and hate, all the while justifying it with the cloak of "God's Will".

I have two gay friends that have been burned and shunned by the church and so-called christians.

Thanks for this post and for helping us to be more aware.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is really such good news. I hope it inspires Illinois.

ThomasLB said...

I hope it stands. The bigots are relentless, and are no doubt preparing a counterpunch.

Utah Savage said...

I'm happy for us all that a state here and a state there does the right and sensible and legal thing and then a state like here does the wrong thing. I long for a tipping point for us all to do the right thing. "We the people" does not exclude any of us people. We have equal rights or no one is free.

claire bangasser said...

You can definitely be proud to be an Iowan. There are now two kinds of people: those who are Iowans and those who wish they were :-)

Border Explorer said...

Your comments are so uplifting. I sincerely thank each of you.

Thomas, yours was my second reaction. But then, when I realized how long and hard it would be to overturn this by voting in a constitutional amendment, I changed my mind. IF a lot of money flooded into the state, there are--no doubt--powerful enemies who would be happy to deal the counterpunch. But I don't know if that money is there in this economy. I guess we'll see.

D.K. Raed said...

IOWA ROCKS (and so do you, B.E.)!

I am soooo disappointed CA did not lead the way on this. But maybe it means even more to have this victory in a midwestern state like Iowa. I'm assuming the morms did not mount a counter-campaign there like they did in CA? Or maybe Iowans are just smarter, have more common sense, and can see through all that propaganda?

I think marriage is even stronger when gay marriage is legal because it means that all choices were available and so the choice made was truly of your own free will.

Dusty said...

It is the least you can do when we out-liberaled California, the hot-tub haven! Whoo-hoo! Now just a darn took a judge to make this happen in Iowa m'dear..Cali is still the land of liberals, with the exception of MY county..the reddest in the state. ;p