Gay couples denied marriage licenses blocks away from Cheney speech
August 26 2004 12:00 AM ET
Four gay and lesbian couples were denied marriage licenses Tuesday at the Scott County, Iowa, courthouse, while Vice President Dick Cheney was just blocks away commenting on the issue of same-sex marriage. At a Republican campaign rally in Davenport, in response to a question posed by a woman concerning the vice president's thoughts on same-sex marriage, Cheney said it is an issue for his family because of his daughter Mary, who is gay. "With the respect to the question of relationships, my general view is, freedom means freedom for everyone," he said. "People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to." Cheney added that historically states have determined how marriage is defined.
As Cheney spoke, four same-sex couples walked into the Scott County courthouse to apply for marriage licenses. They were denied. Pat Hooper, 51, and Connie Jarvis, 53, both of Davenport, said they were told that Iowa law does not permit a marriage license to be issued to same-sex couples because state law defines marriage as a union between a man and woman. Hooper said she and Jarvis were treated well by courthouse workers. "I can't say enough about how they presented themselves and how comfortable they made you feel," Hooper said. Joyce Wiley, the founder of Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity, accompanied the couples to the courthouse. She said it saddened her to see their applications denied. "I expected the denial, I expected it all, but it still hits you, the unfairness, as couples walk out and say, 'Yes, we're denied,"' she said.