Marriage Equality Arrives in Iowa

Beginning this morning, lesbian and gay Iowans are able to sign a marriage contract with their partners and receive all the rights, duties, and protections afforded by the state. From Radio Iowa:

Andrew Mahoney-Lamb and his partner Grant Lamb were the first in line, but didn’t plan it that way.

“No, we figured there’d be a lot of people here, so we figured we’d show up early and try to beat the rush,” Mahoney-Lamb says. Mahoney-Lamb talked his feelings about the wait. “Anxious, I just want to get it over with and have the piece of paper in my hand to show me that it’s actually true,” he says. Lamb says it’s important to them to see the license.

“Definitely once that paper is signed, it’s sealed, then the reality will hit. That’s really what we’re waiting for, the seal from the recorder that says it’s all true,” Lamb says. The two say they’ve been a “couple” for three years and had a commitment ceremony a year ago. Ingrid Olson and Reva Evans waited in line with their son Jamison.

“You know walking up the stairs today, I mean, I got a big pit in my stomach,” Olson says. “I got a big smile on my face,” Evans says, “and it was just like, like I didn’t expect it, it was pretty powerful, it was just a great feeling.” Olson and Evans had tried to get a license four years ago, and were one of the couples who challenged Iowa’s gay marriage ban after being denied.

From the Des Moines Register.

In Des Moines, Lori Blachford was among the people applying for marriage licenses. As television cameras surrounded the dozens of couples in line, she talked about how life with her partner of 25 years, Karen Utke, is going to change.

“We’re living the married life, same as our parents did, painfully and traditionally boring,” said Blachford, who is 45.

But even though they’ve been together so long, the concept of marriage didn’t seem to have fully set in. Blachford first introduced her partner as “my friend,” then stuttered and settled on “my Karen.” They have two sons, age 13 and 17, conceived with an anonymous sperm donor.

“They’ve grown up with us just acting like a married couple and in a normal family,” Blachford said. “But they understand the legal issues. They realize the inequity. They don’t understand why we should be treated any different.”

The couple plan to get married in the summer. “It’s a little anti-climactic to us,” Blachford said. “Twenty-five years of married life, it kind of seems silly to organize a ceremony. But we’re thrilled to be able to do it.”

Denny Schrock and Patrick Phillips-Schrock wore tuxedos to the recorder’s office. They’ve been together five years, and had a commitment ceremony three years ago at the Unitarian Universalist church in Des Moines.

“I didn’t think this would happen in my lifetime,” the 58-year-old Phillips-Schrock, a retired high school French teacher who is originally from Jefferson but now lives in Urbandale, said. “It’s incredible. In Iowa, of all places!”

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2 thoughts on “Marriage Equality Arrives in Iowa

  1. I grew up in Iowa and lived there until I was 35. I am SO PROUD to say I'm from there! I have to admit I'm surprised, but very, very pleased.

  2. I grew up in Iowa and lived there until I was 35. I am SO PROUD to say I'm from there! I have to admit I'm surprised, but very, very pleased.

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