Not wasting any time and taking advantage of a $5 waiver of the waiting period in Iowa, Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan sealed the deal on the front lawn of Unitarian minister Rev. Mark Stringer.
A few hours later, Judge Robert B. Hanson formally stayed yesterday’s ruling that the law declaring that valid marriages were only between a man and a woman was unconstitutional, and that the state had no valid interest in arbitrarily discriminating against same-sex couples by denying them the right to marry.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two men sealed the state’s first legal same-sex marriage with a kiss Friday morning, less than 24 hours after a judge threw out Iowa’s ban on gay marriage and about two hours before he put the ruling on hold.
It was a narrow window of opportunity.
Thursday afternoon, Polk County Judge Robert Hanson temporarily cleared the way for same-sex couples across the state to apply for marriage licenses in Polk County.
He ruled that Iowa’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed marriage only between a man and a woman, violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of six gay couples who had sued.
County attorney John Sarcone promised a quick appeal, and he asked Hanson to stay his ruling until the appeal was resolved.
A dozen gay and lesbian couples were waiting at the county recorder’s office when it opened Friday morning.
By late morning, 20 had applied for marriage licenses when Recorder Julie Haggerty announced that she had been instructed to stop accepting the applications. Hanson later said the judge had formally stayed his ruling.
The judge’s stay means the recorder’s office is not permitted to accept any more marriage applications from gay couples until the Iowa Supreme Court rules on the county’s appeal.
The anti-equality bunch has their collective thong in a knot, but the marriage is legal.
Republican House Minority Leader Christopher Rants said the ruling illustrates the need for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
“I can’t believe this is happening in Iowa,” Rants said. “I guarantee you there will be a vote on this issue come January,” when the Legislature convenes.
From whence came the art: