The legalization of same-sex marriages in Iowa is unlikely to change Missouri’s gay marriage ban. But Missouri’s gay community thinks it will be felt here.
The Iowa Supreme Court has unanimously held Iowa’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The head of Missouri’s leading advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people does not expect a rush to Iowa for weddings, but he thinks some Missourians will go north. Executive Director A. J. Bockelman of PROMO says the focus of his organization is not on overturning Missouri’s constitutional amendment but on getting basic fairness and equality issues approved: "The states where we see marriage happening–It’s happening in states where they already have basic protections. So for example right now, in Missouri, it’s still possible to be fired from your job because you’re gay and most people don’t realize that. And that’s one of the things we’re definitely trying to amend and change here at home. And things like that are gaining ground." Bockelman says incremental progress is being made in Missouri and he says his group has identified some new people in the legislature who might provide more bipartisan support for those efforts.