Celebrating 5 Years of Marriage in Iowa

David Twombley & Larry Hoch | Urbandale, IA

EDITORS' NOTE: This first-person reflection guest post was written by David Twombley, who stood with his longtime partner Larry Hoch, five other loving same-sex couples, and Lambda Legal in filing a lawsuit in Iowa back in 2008 seeking the freedom to marry. Today, April 3, is the five-year anniversary of the historic ruling in their case, Varnum v. Brien, that ruled in favor of the freedom to marry and clearing the way for same-sex couples in Iowa - including David and Larry - to receive marriage licenses, beginning on April 27, 2009. Here, David reflects on five years of the freedom to marry in his home state, and looks toward the future. 

It seems impossible that nearly five years have gone by since our historic win for marriage equality in the Iowa Supreme Court. It's wonderful to know that Larry and I have been married for five years this coming September.

What an incredible journey this has been. We both are often asked if we would do it again - the fight for equality, as well as getting married at all - and our response is always the same: "In a heart beat." I know, personally, I would never have missed any of the years of planning and hoping.

"It seems impossible that nearly five years have gone by since our historic win for marriage equality in the Iowa Supreme Court. What an incredible journey this has been."

Two of the strongest memories for me were the day of the hearing before the Supreme Court and the feeling following that we were going to win our lawsuit. Call it intuition or a hunch, but I think it was the tenor of the questions asked each side by the Justices and the answers that they received.

I know I was very optimistic, and I never lost that feeling.

The second memory, and the strongest: We had been sequestered from the press the morning the decision was to be announced - April 3, 2009 - we did not know the outcome as we came into the room to hear the official announcement. As we came in, I saw our good friends, Betty & Bruce Hunter, and Betty was crying when she looked at me.

My initial reaction was that we had lost the case! Of course, I found out soon that it was tears of happiness. My heart was beating so hard before Camilla Taylor made that wonderful announcement that we had been successful. I was squeezing Larry’s hand so hard - I’m glad I didn’t break any bones! The phone calls, e-mails and all other support we received were incredible.

It is a humble feeling to know that Larry and I are part of civil rights history in Iowa - and it is exciting to see the nation continue to move closer and closer to a future where same-sex couples across the country, in every state, can share in the happiness that Larry and I have shared for five years. 

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