Same sex couples celebrating a year of equal marriage rights - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Same sex couples celebrating a year of equal marriage rights


IOWA CITY (KWWL)- Iowa same sex couples are approaching the one year anniversary of being legally allowed to marry.

The state supreme court ruled unanimously against the ban April, 3rd 2009.

It'S a time to celebrate for same sex couples across the state.  It's also an opportunity for same sex couples to take a step back and reflect.

Nearly one year later, Jen BarbouRoske remembers her emotions after hearing she and her partner Dawn could be legally recognized as a married couple.

"it was just that absolute joy and excitement, our minds were going 100 miles an hour thinking wow, this is it," BarbouRoske said.

BarbouRoske was one of the plaintiff's in the Varnum v. Brien case, in which the Iowa Supreme Court ultimately ruled all Iowans deserve equal access to civil marriage.

According to the Iowa Department of Health, nearly 18 hundred same-sex marriages have taken place in Iowa since 2009.

Almost 300 of those have happened in Johnson County, with a good number coming from across state borders.

Same sex couples sometimes have no other alternative but to go to a different state and they're so happy when they come," Johnson County Recorder Kim Painter said.

Plenty of hurdles, however, still exist for same sex couples.  Take for instance, filing a federal tax return, or vacationing in a state that doesn't recognize their marriage.

Still it's significant progress, and a year later, couples like the BarbouRoske's are thankful to call Iowa home.

"To hear our kids say 'my parents,' when they got married and things like that, it may seem like little things but it means everything to us."

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

Powered by Frankly