FOURTH ANNIVERSARY: Same-Sex Couples Celebrate

It was exactly four years ago today that same-sex couples were allowed to legally marry.

That historic day set Iowa apart years before other states passed similar laws.

Looking through their wedding album, John Sellers and Tom Helten of Des Moines say they can’t believe all that has happened since that historic day.

“I think that day was so important, I just wanted to really look nice and remember that day,” says Helten.

The couple joined other Iowans on April 27, 2009 to get their marriage license on the day the law took effect.

“It was part of history,” says Sellers.

Helten went on to say, “I’m sure there are a lot of couples that remember the day they got their marriage license but for john and I that day was just memorable.”

This all was possible because of another Iowa couple.

Kate and Trish Varnum were the plaintiffs in the case that went all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Through a unanimous vote the Supreme Court decided it was unconstitutional to limit marriage to just a man and a woman.

“It was important for us, it’s important for our friends and our family to have that recognition as well,” says Kate Varnum.

The same goes for Sellers and Helten.

Although the two had been together for over ten years, they still wanted the opportunity for their union to be legally recognized.

“Being able to say you`re married, people understand what the concept of marriage means, the love and the commitment to each other and spending your life together,” says Sellers.

Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage followed by Iowa, since then seven other states plus the District of Columbia have followed.

The couple says looking back on their memories; they only hope other states will continue to follow Iowa’s lead.

“It`s been a great four years, that`s for sure,” says Sellers.

Sellers and Helten will be celebrating their four-year wedding anniversary May 1st.

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