County recorders in Iowa granted marriage licenses to more than 450 same-sex couples last week. It was a week ago today, when an Iowa Supreme Court ruling which legalized gay marriage took effect.
Iowa has no residency restrictions for marriage, so same-sex couples from other states are coming to Iowa to marry, even though their marriages will not be legally recognized in their home state.
On Friday, a charter bus carrying 17 same-sex couples from Missouri arrived in Iowa City where the couples obtained marriage licenses from the Johnson County Recorder. Ed Reggi of St. Louis organized the trip. "These are committed couples that have been together, like myself, for ten-plus years," Reggi says, "and I think it was just a way to kind of say we’re going to go somewhere that gives us that marriage license."
Adjaane Jackson of St. Louis says she and her partner were surprised gay marriage was legal in Iowa. "Iowa kind of has like a — I mean, from what I’ve heard — kind of a small town (reputation)," she says. "I would never have thought that Iowa would have done it before St. Louis," The group of St. Louis area residents avoided the mandatory three-day waiting period by filing applications for the marriage licenses earlier in the week so they all got married on Friday at a Unitarian Church in Iowa City.
Ten same-sex couples from Minnesota are heading to Iowa to get married today. The couples left Sunday afternoon from All God’s Children Church in south Minneapolis.
One woman said, "I realized this is the woman that I want to spend my life with and she asked me to marry her and I said yes and now we’re going to Iowa to make it legal." The couples are getting married at a sister church in Davenport. The unions won’t be legal when they get back to Minnesota.
(John Mickelson of KTLK in Minneapolis contributed to this story.)