The middle of the story.

April 3rd 2009 was a Friday. Lindsey and I were in our apartment in Panyu, a suburb of megalopolis Guangzhou, China. The results of Varnum v. Brien hadn’t broken by the time we went to bed. We had to get up early the next morning; we were going to Hong Kong.

As soon as I got up Saturday morning, I checked the internet. “Lindsey!” I called out. She came into the room really quickly, because the tone of my voice made it sound as though I had hurt myself or discovered some horrible news. “What?!” “We can get married in Iowa.”

The Iowa Supreme Court had ruled, “We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective… Iowa Code section 595.2 [defining marriage as male-female only] denies gay and lesbian people the equal protection of the law promised by the Iowa Constitution.”

This is perhaps not the most romantic engagement story you’ve ever heard.

Don’t worry, we have other engagement stories. We’ve been getting engaged since at least 2006. We didn’t really expect to be able to get married so soon. But that’s one more thing: we don’t necessarily get to the pick the time and place we’d like to be married. The earliest possible challenge to the Court ruling is 2012. Iowa, fortunately, is where we fell in love and a place we hold dearly. 2011, fortunately, is a good amount of time away for us to be thinking about getting married (and conveniently a year and a half after Lindsey’s brother’s wedding and a year after my sister’s wedding). We are fortunate to be in love and young in a time of change. Iowa is just a small answer to the question “Why can’t we get married?”, but I’m so happy it’s Iowa.

It’s a beautiful spring day today.

You can read the Iowa Supreme Court ruling here. I highly recommend it.

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3 responses to “The middle of the story.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The middle of the story. « Rachel & Lindsey Getting Married -- Topsy.com

  2. Hi Rachel and Lindsey,

    I’m an Iowan living and working in El Salvador. I also heard about the court ruling from abroad, and was astounded/elated. I want to sincerely thank you two for sharing your story.

    You give me hope. My partner is Salvadoran, and as we take the big step of moving in together in a few weeks here, I can’t help but worry that things are a bit unbalanced: she’s never been able to see Iowa/the US–my home, the roots of me– and how the heck will we tackle immigration when one day, that living in my territory for a while needs to be the next big step we take?

    Anyhow, your openness with your international, enduring journey gives me hope. Thanks for that gift.

    Here’s to advances in national immigration policy that reflect human rights….

    Congratulations to you both! I hope it is an enjoyable preparation and wedding celebration for you.

  3. Daniela, absolutely. Thank you for commenting. I’m so interested in what you’re talking about. Did you meet your partner in El Salvador? How long have you been there? How is the expat community there, where do you live, what work do you do? Etc!

    There’s lots of good info on the web about LGBTQ immigration issues (not very optimistic, unfortunately). I hope to delve into it more in-depth on this space at some point.

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