Missouri same-sex couples marry in Iowa City - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Missouri same-sex couples marry in Iowa City

by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The bus left St. Louis at 6:00 Friday morning. On it, 17 same-sex couples from Missouri coming to Iowa City to get married.

You didn't have to look far to see the significance of this day.

"Just to feel equal it feels really, really good," said Aajaane Jackson, who married her girlfriend of two years Friday.

Aajaanne and Jamie Jackson are just one of the 17 same sex couples to board the bus in St. Louis...to get married in Iowa City.

"You watched it happen in Massachusetts and California and to see it come to Iowa which is so close to home, it just felt historic and it felt like we wanted to be a part of that," said Ryan Barker, standing alongside his partner, Lawrence Miskel.

Ed Reggi is the organizer. It started with his partner Scott and a few friends.

"And then it grew to a bigger car, a van rental and then to obviously a charter bus," said Reggi.

The bus arrived to greetings from Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey.

"I hope other states are looking to Iowa," said Bailey. "We're doing the right thing here."

The bus continued from the recorder's office to the Unitarian church for the ceremony.

"It validates our relationship," said Miskel. "It means a lot to us. We've been together for six years and we have a son now and we're a family. It's the final piece of the puzzle that's been put in place."

"I'm lucky because I have two dads that love me and I'm in a safe home," said 9-year old William Miskel-Barker, adopted son of Lawrence and Ryan.

None of these marriages will be recognized upon returning to Missouri. But for these 17 couples, May 1st is a step in the right direction.

"When we all go back, when we all go back to the parts of Missouri we came from I think people are going to realize that we're just the same as everyone else," said Reggi. "We're just the same."

While the marriage may stay in Iowa, the memories are coming home.

"Putting the ring on her finger and saying I do," said Jamie Jackson, of her fondest memory of the day.

Jamie and Aajaanne were the youngest couple to get married Friday. They're considering moving to Iowa City to go to school at the University of Iowa. Organizer Ed Reggi thinks many other same sex couples in Missouri will follow suit.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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