Same-sex marriage

John Pemble / IPR

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral arguments this week over same-sex marriage, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst says she hopes the high court rules in favor of giving states the right to determine who can marry.

The topic of same-sex marriage came up last weekend when nine GOP presidential hopefuls made stump speeches at a church in Waukee. The freshman Iowa Republican says she didn’t hear all of the candidates this weekend but she says she is holding her position that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Clay Masters / IPR

Iowa was only the third state in the nation to legalize same sex marriage, but it was the first to do it unanimously.

Tom Witosky and Marc Hansen wrote “Equal Before the Law: How Iowa Led Americans to Marriage Equality.” Witosky says the unanimity of the decision and Iowa’s moderate reputation helped sway national public opinion towards marriage equality. He points out that polls started shifting significantly in favor of same sex marriage in 2009, the year after the Varnum vs. Brien decision.

Sarah Viren

Imagine you are married and have a daughter. When your spouse gets a job in another state, you plan for everything - including the fact that your new state does not recognize your same-sex marriage.

Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Sarah Viren about her move from Iowa City to Lubbock, Texas, recounted in her essay, “How to Unmarry Your Wife."

Alan Light / Flickr

In the third annual Municipality Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign, each of the five Iowa cities measured scored above the national average.

Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to take up any of the cases before them involving same-sex marriage.

Sarah Viren

Imagine you are married. You have a daughter, and when your spouse gets a job in another state, you plan for everything - including the fact that your new state does not recognize your same-sex marriage.

Clay Masters / IPR

In 2009, the Varnum decision made Iowa the third state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Fast forward five years later, and 17 states now sanction same-sex marriage, several others allow civil unions, and a U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled a federal same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer takes a look at how public and political attitudes on same-sex marriage have shifted, as well as acknowledging the groups that have remained steadfast in their position.

The guests on today's program include:

Mod Photography

Five years ago the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in Varnum v. Brien that same-sex marriage was legal in Iowa.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with people who have been affected by the decision including Ryan Roemerman of the Iowa Pride Network, retired Presbyterian minister Rev. Greg Smith, and events planner Beau Fodor.  Also, Heather Yoeman and Dean Genth discuss being able to marry their same-sex spouses.

Some high-profile Republicans are saying it’s time to “let go” of one battle in the culture wars — the fight against same-sex marriage.

David Kochel was an advisor to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Kochel says he wants to begin a conversation about changing the Republican Party’s idea of family values.

“I like to think of it as my Republican values, and my conservative values—being pro-marriage, pro-family, and believing in intact families as the best place to give children a hope for the future,” he says.

Katie Harbath / Flickr

Recently, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke in court for the first time in almost seven years.

Ben Kieffers talks with  Todd Pettys and Song Richardson, two faculty members from the University Of Iowa College of Law. They discuss key cases before nation’s highest court this year including the constitutionality of California’s Prop 8, which bans same-sex marriage, and DOMA, The Defense of Marriage Act.

Jeff Belmonte / Flickr

When same-sex marriage became legal in Iowa the state became a wedding destination, but some same-sex couples wanted more than just a marriage license. Charity Nebbe talks with couples who moved to Iowa in their search for marriage equality.

Sandhya Dirks

Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins is at the center of two bus tours making their way across the state this week.  Wiggins is part of the court that paved the way for same sex marriage here, and he is facing the same opposition that pushed three justices off the court in 2010. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, this time the Iowa Bar Association is stepping up their involvement in the election.