Johnson County Recorder Kim Painter says forty same-sex couples arrived as planned to request marriage licenses Friday afternoon at the courthouse. Painter’s response was to tell them that there’s an Iowa law limiting marriage to a male and a female, and in line with her oath of office and the advice of the county attorney, she would not issue licenses. Painter says she never considered breaking Iowa’s “Defense of Marriage” law that was passed a few years ago and giving out marriage licenses to the gay couples. She says that would probably have harmed the gay and lesbian community, leaving them open to charges that they can’t be trusted in public office and would “hand out marriage licenses” despite the law. Painter says she herself would like to marry her partner of several years, and says it’s important to show people that there are committed gay couples who have families right here in Iowa and want the legal right to marry. Many, she says, are people she knows — people of all ages, professors at the University of Iowa, professionals with world reputations in their fields of expertise. Painter says the people came to the recorder’s office, and were turned away, as a public act with a message. Painter says it’s important for Iowans to see them denied, see the individuals and hear the stories of their lives, and think about how the laws affect them.
You are here: / / Gay couples try to get marriage licenses in Johnson County