Same-gender couples can get married in Iowa starting today!
Melisa Keeton and Shelley Wolfe were declared “legally married” by pastor Peg Esperanaza during a ceremony in front of Polk County administrative offices in Des Moines. It didn’t take long before they were referring to one another as “wife.”
“It’s not very romantic is it?” Melisa Keeton joked, referring to the location of the ceremony and the media attention. The couple was allowed to wed after getting a judge to waive the state’s three-day waiting period before marriages are deemed valid.
The couple, who will share the last name Keeton, believed they were the first same-sex couple married in Polk County, and possibly the state, since the April 3 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage. The ruling made Iowa the third state to allow same-sex marriage, joining Massachusetts and Connecticut.
There was a rally at a Des Moines UCC in support.
“Marriage is a fundamental right for all people, not just straight people,” said the Rev. Matt Mardis-LeCroy of Plymouth.
“Just lately I have started to suspect that God may be speaking from right here in Des Moines.”
Meanwhile, Time Magazine reports that conservatives are wringing their hands at the possibility that churches may be pitted against one another in this battle over marriage.
Yeah, like church in-fighting has never, ever happened before. Check out my response to that here.
Is gay marriage ultimately a question of religion? The Guardian asked me to comment on that. Here’s a bit:
Adam and Eve is but one story of creation — all religions have one and not one of them comes from an eyewitness who was there taking notes. Marriage is read back into the story of Adam and Eve, but marriage was occurring long before the story was finally written down. That means society created marriage — not God. The original purpose of marriage has changed over the millennia. The one thing it didn’t have originally? Religion.
Read the full story – along with the pure, unadulterated, wingnuttery in the comment section – here.
Rev. Candace Chellew is the founder and Editor Emeritus of Whosoever. She earned her Masters of Theological studies at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and trained as a spiritual director through the Omega Point program of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. Her first book, “Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians”, was published by Jossey-Bass in 2008. She currently serves as the Spiritual Director of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, S.C.