MN gay couples lag behind others in getting married in Iowa

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 20, 2010 - 7:10 AM

When it comes to gay couples traveling to Iowa to get married, Minnesotans are getting beat to the altar.

A majority of same-sex couples who marry in Iowa are from outside the state, according to Iowa Department of Health data released last week.

There were 2,020 same-sex marriages in Iowa from April 27, 2009, when the state started allowing such unions, until March 31, 2010, the department said.

Iowa couples made up 815 of those marriages, leaving 1,005 for all other states. Next was Illinois (199), followed by Missouri (158), Nebraska (111) and Minnesota (109).

Lesbian marriages were far more common in Iowa than those involving two men (1,292 vs. 728). Lesbians accounted for 71 of the gay Minnesota couples getting married in Iowa. Justin Uebelhor of the gay-rights group One Iowa says he wasn't surprised to see that so many of the gay couples were from other states. He says many have Iowa ties and wanted to get married at home, while others live in nearby states.

Iowa became the first state in the Midwest to allow gay marriage after the state Supreme Court ruled that an Iowa ban on such marriages was unconstitutional.

Paul Walsh

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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