Friday, April 03, 2009

Iowa City Celebrates Marriage Equality

Iowa City Marriage Rally

Even though I spent the moment of Iowa's marriage equality ruling with a very supportive group, the magnitude of what happened this morning didn't hit me till I came up Clinton Street and saw the crowd at Iowa City's celebration rally.

This changes the face of Iowa across the country. "We're not just one of the square states anymore," I told Air America's Ron Kuby this afternoon. Wyoming calls itself the Equality State, but we've got claim on that now.

Rough crowd count about 600 with not a counterprotester in sight. Affection displayed all around, too many elected officials to count.

The weather and setting couldn't have been more perfect: the steps of the Old Capitol in Iowa City, with the setting sun illuminating the American and Iowa flags. (The photo doesn't do it justice)

Another sign: "3 down, 47 to go"

Recorder Kim Painter, very much looking forward to handing out licenses in three weeks.

"2008 was the summer of the flood," said Mayor Regenia Bailey. "Let 2009 be the summer of weddings, the summer of love."

Janelly Rettig speaks while her WIFE (!) Robin Butler looks on. They're still looking into how their 2003 wedding in Canada translates. "We might just wake up in three weeks and poof, we're married in Iowa," said Rettig.

Other speakers included:

  • Rep. Mary Mascher, who came on stage with her twin grandsons: "Think of what a different future they'll live in." As for the constitutional amendment, "that resolution is in my desk drawer and that's where it will stay."

  • The BarbouRouske family, plaintiffs in the case, who have been together for 18 years. "From the very first day we knew this was what we wanted."

  • A group of clergy who hoped that this was "a beginning, not the end" of dialogue with faiths who did not believe in marriage equality.

    "Fairness" was the word of the day, with lots of references to Iowa's leading role in abolition, and a couple to the historic role last year's caucus played for President Obama. Fairness is a good message, and Republicans run a risk if they choose to define the 2010 election around this issue. It may motivate their base, but moderates are more concerned with little things like the economy.
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