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Monday, February 7, 2011

Their story: Ingrid and Reva Evans Olson (from Iowa)

Growing up on a farm in rural Iowa, my dreams were those of other young girls ... marrying the love of my life.

Reva and I have been together for 13 years and married for a year and a half. We were among the plaintiff couples in the lawsuit that sought the right to marry. We have had the blessing of witnessing justice first hand from an amazing vantage point. Even nearly two years after the unanimous Iowa Supreme Court ruling in our favor, I have a hard time putting into words how amazing that day and each day after has been for us - I tear up just thinking about it.

Knowing that in the eyes of the government we are equal is transformative. I know what it feels like to be treated differently because I'm gay and now I know how it feels to be an equal Iowan. It is hard to explain the sense of comfort and wholeness that marriage has brought to our family.

The retention election this past fall was a kick in the gut. Reva and I are both lifelong Iowans who believe in the core ideas that Iowans hold onto: hard work, love, respect and treating our neighbors with dignity. We made the decision to live in Iowa because we wanted our son Jamison to benefit from the same privileges we were afforded as kids. We know Iowa and we love Iowa. But despite our love for the state, the removal of the Iowa Supreme Court justices was incomprehensible.

As discussion to ban marriage for same-sex couples ensues, we realize the legitimacy of our family is being questioned. It is hard to understand how the marriage of two committed adults does anything but cast warmth and beauty into the world. Someday our grandchildren will look back on this time and wonder what the fuss was all about. Love is love.

Ingrid and Reva Evans Olson live in Council Bluffs.


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