North Carolina vote worries some of Iowa's gay couples - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

North Carolina vote worries some of Iowa's gay couples


Wednesday, President Obama told ABC News that he now officially supports gay marriage.   His remarks come on the heels of a vote in North Carolina Tuesday that will instate a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

While the president's endorsement of gay marriage is encouraging for gay couples the North Carolina vote reignites fears about a similar measure being put to a vote here in Iowa.

We've just passed the three year anniversary since an Iowa Supreme Court decision made same sex unions legal in our state. But in November 2010, Iowa voters ousted three of the justices who agreed to overturn the state's ban on same sex marriage.

So when votes like the one in North Carolina come down gay couples in Iowa can't help but be reminded that their marriages could still be in jeopardy

Brenda Fite and Jennifer Waldron will soon celebrate their three year wedding anniversary.  The couple once thought they'd never have a chance to tie the knot.

"When the Supreme Court ruling came down, we knew pretty instantly that we wanted to be married and all that entailed," Waldron said.

But since their wedding, the couple feels the legality of their union's been in a constant state of limbo.  State after state has opted to ban marriages like theirs.  To them, it's a disheartening trend.

"It's unfathomable.   I mean any other couple, a straight couple, if you said someday your marriage is illegal one day, they'd be outraged at how you could even suggest such a thing so that's our position now," Fite said.

And because the couple now shares a two-year-old son, they're even more fearful of the looming threat lawmakers in Iowa could one day overturn their union.

"Marriage matters to us because we're a family and we love each other.   So I hope that it never comes to a vote," said Fite.

But Bob Vander Plaats of the Family Leader says the North Carolina vote is affirmation that people across the country want the chance to vote on banning gay marriages.

"I think Iowans are going to flip the state senate this election year so that we have that chance to vote on it.   And I think if Iowans have that opportunity, they'll realize a similar result as North Carolina did," said Vander Plaats.

But of course the Iowa legislature is in overtime right now wrapping up the budget.  So a gay marriage amendment is on the back burner.  But it's highly possible the issue will be brought up yet again next year.

North Carolina is now the 30th state to approve a constitutional amendment banning same sex unions.  Iowa is one of just six states that legally recognize such marriages.

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