A group of gay men and women say they plan to seek marriage licenses from the Johnson County Recorder Friday. Janelle Rettig is one of the organizers of the group.She says they fully expect to be turned down, but are taking the action to point out that they’re “already denied one-thousand-49 federal benefits and hundreds of state benefits, both rights and responsibilities, and that a need for a constitutional amendment just doesn’t exist.” Rettig says her own relationship is a good example.She’s been with her partner for 15 years and they have gone through lyme disease, meningitis and breast cancer, but under the laws of the U.S. and Iowa they’re still strangers and prevented from seeing each other in the hospital. She says she doesn’t find it a radical notion that they would care to reach out and seek legal protections to protect their family. The President proposes leaving the idea of a civil union up to individual states. Rettig says that’s not good enough. She says it remains to be seen if states would create a civil union. She says if you had a civil union and you moved to another state, it wouldn’t be honored, so you would have to have a civil union passport. She says it’s her particular belief “this country tried separate but equal and it didn’t work, and it’s not likely to work in this case.” Rettig says she’s not worried the event Friday will energize opponents in Iowa even more. She says “Americans standing up and demanding to be treated equally, if that polarizes people, that’s unfortunate. But I think it is perfectly American to want to be not discriminated against in the law. And asking for the same rights and responsibilities that everyone else has, I don’t consider that to be un-American.” Rettig and the others will seek their marriage licenses at 1:30 on Friday.
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