One Iowa Press Conferences March 29 and 30

One Iowa will hold two press conferences this week leading up to the April 3 anniversary of Varnum v. Brien, the Iowa Supreme Court decision clearing the way for all Iowans to marry.

Today’s will be in Des Moines at the Capitol, and Tuesday a press conference will be held in Iowa City. We’ll be joined by partners in our EQUALITY: Red Blue Purple Coalition, and announce a Pollie Award win over the weekend for our “This Place” television ad.

Media questions can be directed to Justin Uebelhor, 515.288.4019 ext. 205. Photos of the Des Moines press conference are available on our Picasa page.

– According to the Iowa Department of Health, 1,783 same-sex marriages took place in Iowa in 2009.
– The Williams Institute estimated a $5.3 million annual boost in state revenues due to same-sex marriage and $160 million in new spending on weddings and tourism in the first three years of marriage equality in Iowa.
– Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Washington D.C. currently allow same-sex marriages.

Des Moines, March 29
Carolyn Jenison, One Iowa Executive Director
State Senator Matt McCoy
Marcia Nichols, AFSCME Political Director
Connie Ryan Terrell, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Executive Director
Reverend Abraham L. Funchess, Senior Pastor, Jubilee United Methodist Church, Waterloo Mary Evans and Stephanie McFarland

Iowa City, March 30
Carolyn Jenison, One Iowa Executive Director
Janelle Rettig, Johnson County Supervisor
Kim Painter, Johnson County Recorder
Reverend Abraham L. Funchess, Senior Pastor, Jubilee United Methodist Church, Waterloo
Reverend Tom Capo, Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist, Cedar Rapids
Mary Fisher, National Association of Social Workers
Jen BarbouRoske, Plaintiff in the Varnum v. Brien case

“A year ago on April 3, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that all Iowans deserved equal access to civil marriage. In doing so, they touched not only on the precedent of an Iowa justice system that values individual liberty, but also upon the common-sensibility of Iowans who don’t want to see their neighbors treated differently.”

“[F]or thousands of Iowans, we stood a little taller, a little prouder, with the recognition that our relationships and our families were treated equally by the state of Iowa.”

“Our fair-minded elected officials have taken their share of heat, but they have been steadfast in the belief that Iowa is a better place when everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”

In 2005 six Iowa same sex couples represented by Lambda Legal filed suit against Polk County, claiming Iowa’s law denying civil marriage to same‐sex couples violated the equal protection guarantees of the Iowa Constitution.

In August of 2007, an Iowa District Court ruled in favor of the couples and the case was sent to the Iowa Supreme Court on appeal. On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, agreed with the lower court, clearing the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry in Iowa.

On the evening of April 3, 2009 thousands of Iowans gathered across the state to celebrate the historic victory. Among the crowds and speeches, one phrase reverberated across Iowa: “Today, I’m so proud to be an Iowan!”