STORIES: Daniel & Charles

Charles and I met online in the summer of 2006.  Charles was living in Altoona and working for a non-profit organization in Des Moines and I was also living in Altoona and working as a performer on the Soda ‘n Sounds stage at Adventureland.

After talking online for a while, we decided to meet in person.  Since that first date, we have been inseparable.

On our one year anniversary, we decided to get rings for each other to show others our love and commitment for each other.  But, we both didn’t think marriage equality would happen for a long time, at least in the Midwest.

Since then, we have grown as individuals and grown together in our relationship.  We bought a house, got pets, advanced in our careers, and are fulfilling our education goals.  Charles is almost done with his Masters and I completed my Masters and am looking to obtain my Doctorate.

In our relationship, from 2007 until we got married, we looked at ourselves as a married couple.  We didn’t need to piece of paper and legal recognition to know in our hearts that we were married.  Nevertheless, we still felt some inequalities compared to the rest of our friends and families who were married, but we lived our lives as if we were married.

After marriage equality became law in 2009, we got engaged and began planning our wedding.  We got married on April 10, 2010 in our church at Urbandale United Church of Christ.  Our wedding party consisted of 16 total attendants (all of our siblings and their spouses + friends), six flower girls (our nieces), two junior attendants (our niece and nephew), and four usher/usherettes (two nephews + friends).  This was a very large wedding party, to say the least!  My parents walked me down the aisle, while Charles’s dad and grandma walked him down the aisle.  We were lucky enough to have very supportive friends and family to participate in and attend our wedding.

Since our marriage, we have continued to live a much fulfilled life.  Marriage really has been a blessing to us, but knowing that this could be taken away from us or prevented from others is very disheartening.   Marriage equality matters because no matter who you love, you should be able to marry them.

Knowing that we are setting a positive example in our marriage for those who are still on the fence about marriage equality will be a great accomplishment.  We feel that our marriage and life together is pretty normal and even above average, and this will show conflicted Iowans that our love and commitment contributes to society as a whole. THAT is why marriage matters!


%d bloggers like this: