Printed in the Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA) on Tuesday, March 9, 2010
"Letter: Iowa ruling on same-sex marriage a source of pride"
I was raised in Dubuque, but only recently felt I might belong in Iowa. As a young, educated professional, I represent the demographic most likely to leave the state for expanded opportunities.
Last spring when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled it only fair that same sex couples be granted the same rights of marriage as heterosexual couples, my heart opened toward Iowa. I was proud to be an Iowan. I felt visible and legitimate both as an individual and as part of a same sex couple.
My partner and I will soon be married in Iowa. A magistrate will perform the nuptials. We will not have any religious involvement nor are we trying to change anyone’s religious beliefs. We will spend all of the money for the wedding through Iowa owned/operated businesses. We will receive the nearly 400 rights and responsibilities of marriage in the State of Iowa.
Since neighboring states will not recognize our marriage, we are paying an attorney to help us prepare the paperwork that will (hopefully) preserve our power to make decisions for each other in emergency situations. Until the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is overturned, we cannot receive any of the nearly 1,100 rights of marriage at the federal level, including Social Security Survivor Benefits.
In the end, I stay in Iowa because of a fabulous Dean and co-workers at Kirkwood; because my family (including my new family-in-law) lives in Iowa; and, foremost, because Iowa grants me the right to marry my soul mate.