Gay Couples Line Up for Marriage Licenses in Iowa

Gay Couples Line Up for Marriage Licenses in Iowa

County officials all over Iowa began accepting marriage license applications from same-sex couples on Monday morning, making it the third state to allow such marriages.

As an update:

Cathy Johnson of Lineville stood at the courthouse door and collected petitions with at least 190 signatures. The petitioners asked Recorder Angela Horton not to issue licenses to same-sex couples. They also called for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

County recorders across Iowa received similar petitions. Dozens of licenses were issued in the state’s most populated counties. A handful of ceremonies were held when judges waived the standard three-day waiting period.

Throughout Iowa, county recorders were receiving similar petitions. Also, in the state’s most populated counties, recorders were busy issuing marriage licenses. In rural counties, however, few if any licenses were issued.

As another update, it looks like recorders would likely be removed from their positions if they did not follow the law and grant marriages to same-sex couples. Also, it looks like the only way to get around this ruling is to either put a constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot or call a constitutional convention.

Rumors surfaced over the past week that some recorders would refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples over conflicts with their personal beliefs. Some conservative groups and lawmakers were accused of trying to recruit recorders to refuse the licenses.

State agencies sent out information to recorders statewide last week saying they could be removed from their positions if they don’t follow the law and issue the licenses.

Marilyn Dopheide, the Carroll County recorder and president of the Iowa County Recorder’s Association, said that within about an hour of the recorders’ offices opening there had been no problems with licenses being issued.

Gay marriage opponents have no other legal options to appeal the case to the state or federal level because they were not parties to the lawsuit, and there is no federal issue raised in the case.

Their only recourse appears to be a constitutional amendment, which couldn’t get on the ballot until 2012 at the earliest. A constitutional convention could be called earlier, but is unlikely.

Iowa’s same-sex marriage case had worked its way through the courts since 2005, when Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization, filed a lawsuit on behalf of six gay and lesbian couples in Iowa.

Iowa has a history of being in the forefront on social issues. It was among the first states to legalize interracial marriage and to allow married women to own property. It was also the first state to admit a woman to the bar to practice law and was a leader in school desegregation.

Further Update

Iowa Marriages Begin as Ruling Takes Effect

Same-sex couples in Iowa began filing marriage license applications Monday after a state Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay unions took effect, and the first legal gay weddings took place shortly afterward. Melisa Keeton and Shelley Wolfe were declared “legally married” by pastor Pat Esperanaza during a ceremony in front of Polk County administrative offices in Des Moines.

Declared them “legally married” eh? Once upon a time, corporations were the ultimate legal fiction. Now, they have competition.

Let us now pause in awe of the mighty law makers of the Western world. Apparently, marriage is something they invented. Truly, they are legends in their own minds.




Hate to tell you folks this but Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on marriage.

Well, no, but does it matter?

Hello? Did anyone read Romans 1:24-27?

I think I’ll go to Iowa to get a dog license for my car. I’ll start calling it Fido. It growls a bit when you wake it up from a nap, and is a bit slow on the acceleration. So it’s a dog. Because I say it is.


yet another example of the gay lobby wanting better, not equal rights. the 3day waiting period was waived for all gay couples to get ‘marriage’ lisences when this went into effect, but not for any straight couples that applied. oh wll let them play pretend. they arent any more married than a rock can marry a tiger, we should pray for them.

No, that isn’t true.

Some judges refused to issue waivers to same-sex couples.

In Cerro Gordo County, District Court Judge Colleen Weiland said she was presented with two applications from same-sex couples and denied them both.

“Some judges, frankly, interpret it a lot more leniently than I do,” she said of Iowa’s law concerning waivers. “The ones that were presented this morning I didn’t believe to be an emergency or extraordinary circumstance.”

Scott County Recorder Rita Vargas said three same-sex couples applied for a marriage license by midday Monday. One couple asked for a waiver, but a judge denied the request.

The couple, 22-year-old Tearese Bomar, and 27-year-old Shamera Page, both of Davenport, said on the waiver form that they had waited a long time to have their union recognized and didn’t want to wait any longer, Vargas said.

“The judge just determined they didn’t have enough extraordinary circumstances to grant that waiver,” she said.

As for your contention that different-sex couples were all denied waivers of the three day waiting period, what is your evidence for saying so?

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