LGBTAA serves ice cream to celebrate ruling

Ross Boettcher

To celebrate the temporary lift of the ban on gay marriage in Polk County and the marriage of two ISU students, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Ally Alliance held an ice cream social Tuesday at the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center.

Christine Peterson, LGBTAA president and sophomore in kinesiology, said she thought the ruling was “huge.”

“I think, in a sense, in our community here on campus, it says a lot about the students here,” Peterson said. “We’re a growing organization that is getting bigger and bigger every year. This just really helps our enthusiasm and our confidence.”

Although, to some, the small victory for the LGBT community may be overshadowed by the fact that it’s no longer deemed legal. Peterson said that even if it was just for a short period of time, a small victory is a victory nonetheless.

“When we first heard about it, the whole alliance and all the members of the cabinet started text messaging each other,” Peterson said.

She said when the group heard the first couple was from Ames, the excitement among them grew even more.

Some in attendance at the LGBTAA social Tuesday talked about Sean Fritz, senior in computer science, and Timothy McQuillan, junior in linguistics, being the first same-sex couple to be married in the state.

“This really displays the diversity of the Iowa State campus and the willingness to be open,” said Mitchell Meier, sophomore in aerospace engineering. “This just says that they are brave enough to go forward and do something that has never been done anywhere before.”

Although the ban on gay marriage is still intact, students in attendance at the LGBTAA gathering were hopeful that the state of Iowa would eventually allow gay and other same-sex couples to marry.

“People’s opinions are starting to shift from being against legal gay marriage to being more supportive about the issue,” said Matthew Fender, public relations representative for LGBTAA and senior in Spanish .

Currently, the future of gay marriage in Iowa still lies in the balance of the legal system, but for members of the LGBTAA and other students around campus, the precedent set by Fritz and McQuillan will serve as an example for many.

“I feel proud that it was two students from Iowa State University,” Fender said. “For the two students to be the first ever same-sex couple to get married shows that there are people among our students and the LGBT community that can be proud of this.”