17 Same Sex Couples from Missouri Marry in Iowa

By Jami Brinton, Reporter

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By Jami Brinton

IOWA CITY - Seventeen same sex couples travel more than 200 miles to get married in Iowa City.

But they call the long-awaited unions bittersweet.

Several said their rejoicing quickly turned to sadness because what happened here in Iowa, will stay in Iowa.

The group returns to their home state of Missouri tonight where the unions won't be recognized.

But others view today as another small step toward the nationwide recognition of gay marriage.

The couples traveled by bus from St. Louis wishing to wed in Iowa City and have their love recognized by the government.

"This feels like more substance that really holds a relationship in a higher regard that we currently don't have," said Scott Emanuel.

Emanuel and his partner of ten years Ed Reggi were among the happy couples who got married this afternoon.

After picking up their marriage license, the couple journeyed to the Unitarian Universalist Society where they awaited their ceremony.

The first couple to say "I do," Emanuel and Reggi celebrated with family and friends at their side.

Sill, they can't help hoping for something more.

"I wish the roles were reversed," admits Emanuel. "I wish that Missouri in 2004 didn't have a constitutional amendment that defined marriage between a man and a woman."

Scott and Ed know it will take time to change the way every state views same sex marriages.

"There are those states moving in that direction," explains Emanuel. "Missouri just isn't that state."

"I think eventually when it hits a critical mass - maybe its 15, maybe its 18 - I think its going to have to go before the Supreme Court of the United States" said Reggi.

Until then, this new couple wants to focus on the best this day brings.

"What we'll always know is that we're married in Iowa," said Emanuel. "As more states recognize marriages from other states, we sort of increase where we are welcome."

The rabbi who performed Ed and Scott's wedding says this is the first, legal gay marriage she's presided over in 30 years.

She's married same sex couples before, but gets slapped with a misdemeanor each time because it's illegal to marry a couple in Missouri without a marriage license.

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