When Allen and Michael got married in Iowa

Allen Vanderlinden and Michael Thompson met at Plymouth Church in Des Moines, Iowa and had their first date on April 6, 2003. Little did they know that date would lead to a long-term relationship and they’re getting married in 2009 shortly after the Iowa Supreme Court ruling legalizing marriages for same-sex couples on April 3, 2009.

Allen and Michael answered a few questions about why being able is so important to them.

How long have you been a couple and how did you meet?

We had our first date April 6, 2003. We met at Plymouth Church in Des Moines.  It was a about 9 months later that we felt that we were ready make the commitment, sell our individual homes and purchase one together.

Why did you want to marry?

We felt it important to marry as an outward, legitimate sign of our relationship. We also thought it important for to take this step because of the new legality of same sex marriage.

Why is the freedom to marry so important to you? What did it mean to you when you were finally able to marry?

There is no one thing more important to us than the equality of our personal civil rights. Marriage, although only legal in Iowa, is a step in bringing civil equality to us.

What date were you married?

July 11, 2009

How has being married changed your relationship?

It is important for us to introduce each other as “my husband” rather than the lesser status of “my partner. Also, this year we filed a joint income tax return for the state of Iowa.  But mostly we have found that intangible emotional sense of being a married couple.

What has been the reaction from members of your families about your marriage?

On the whole very positive.  Our adult children are most happy about our marriage. Three of our siblings were at the wedding and that has brought us closer but two of our siblings could not support our right to marry and has made our relationship more difficult..

How have people in your city reacted to your marriage?

Generally positive. We are involved in a large church and have felt a great deal of positive support from people that we know and do not know there.  Former co-workers have been positive and those with whom we have personal business contact such as in the medical and tax preparation fields have been uneventful.

Anything else you’d like to say about you relationship or marriage?

Life is good! We never would’ve thought we’d see same sex marriage in our lifetime. There are those, largely because of their religious beliefs, who want to remove our rights to marry who we love. They are fighting a losing battle, for each day a family member, friend, political figure, celebrity, come out as gay, and once you know someone you admire or love is gay, your feelings about gayness change.