Editorial: Focus on Iowans’ Stories

January 18, 2012 at 8:58 am

By The Gazette Editorial Board

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Kate and Trish Varnum share a last name that will live on in the state’s civil rights history, but right now, the couple is plenty busy, like the rest of us, living their own lives.

Kate lost her job and is back in school. Trish switched jobs, and now works for a local firm that extends health benefits to married same-sex couples. But most importantly, they’ve nearly finished the process of adopting three-month-old Alex. Kate’s mom Liz is ready with photos, like any grandma.

“And in a perfect world, he’d never know his family is different, or that people thought his family was wrong,” Kate Varnum said. “We don’t live in a perfect world.”

No, but it is changing. Certainly legal and political battles, like Iowa’s landmark Varnum v. Brien ruling, have played a big role in altering Iowa and the nation’s attitude about same-sex marriage. But it’s also married couples such as Kate and Trish, simply sharing their stories, that are quietly eroding the last stubborn barriers to equality and acceptance.

So we think the pro-marriage equality group One Iowa is on the right track with its new “Why Marriage Matters Iowa” campaign, which seeks to move the discussion from divisive Statehouse fights to living room conversations.

One Iowa is launching a website to collect and showcase Iowans’ stories, as well as organizing house parties across the state to foster conversation on marriage and its meaning, among other efforts. The events are especially meant to engage Iowans “in the middle,” who are conflicted or undecided on the issue.

What One Iowa hopes to highlight are stories that illustrate the importance of equality for families who are living in our communities. We think that’s the right focus. We encourage Iowans to participate and take a breather from the battle lines.

Click here to read the full article from The Cedar Rapids Gazette

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Entry filed under: News.

Tom and John on Why Marriage Matters Press Release:


A One Iowa public education project

Contact Us!

Why Marriage Matters Iowa is a project of Freedom to Marry and the One Iowa Education Fund.

For more information, please contact One Iowa at 515.288.4019 or email info@oneiowa.org

For press, please contact Matty Smith at 515.288.4019 x212 or email matty@oneiowa.org

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