Thursday, October 1, 2009

St. Louis' Gay Marriage Bus Keeps On Rollin'

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 7:00 AM

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Back in April, just a few days after the Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in the Hawkeye State, a group of same-sex couples from Missouri, led by Show Me No Hate blogger Ed Reggi, chartered "a rock and roll style tour bus" and headed up to Iowa city to get hitched.

Now, five months later, Reggi and Co. are ready to make like Spike Lee and get (back) on the bus.

On Friday October 2, a bus leaves for Iowa City for another group wedding trip. A third bus trip, this one to the National Equality March on October 10-11 in Washington D.C., is also in the works.

Reggi is looking for same-sex couples (or supporters) to fill seats for both sojourns.

Details after the jump...

For the National Equality March:
ST. LOUIS BUS TO NATIONAL EQUALITY MARCH IN D.C.

TO PURCHASE A BUS SEAT TICKET Please click the following link to pay for your seat on the Show Me No Hate - St. Louis Bus to National Equality March in D.C. Oct 10th-12th. Click here!

EVENT: Show Me No Hate has chartered a comfortable 55-seat coach bus from a St. Louis family owned bus company, to bring LGBTQ and Straight Allies to the National Equality March in D.C. on October 11th

SCHEDULE:

* The bus will leave from St. Louis on Saturday October 10th at 3pm. We will travel to Washington D.C. (approximately 13 hours) with scheduled breaks along the way.

* The bus will arrive in Washington D.C. around 6am at a LGTBQ-friendly location where we can stretch, eat breakfast or change clothing.

* The bus members may participate in a variety of D.C. scheduled events throughout the day including: Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, the Equality March along Pennsylvania Avenue and the Main event at the Historic Mall to hear an incredible line-up of speakers.

* We will conclude with a group picture of Missourians for equality in front of the Lincoln Memorial; board our bus around 8pm and return to St. Louis by 10am, Monday October 12th. (There are no hotel or lodging expenses on this trip.)

To reserve a seat on the bus please visit our RSVP Google Document. If you have any questions please send email to ShowMeNoHate [at] gmail [dot] com.
For the Iowa City "Show Me Marriage Bus 2.0":
On October 2, at 6:00 am the Show Me Marriage Equality Bus is rolling out again. We are currently looking for loving same-sex couples who would like to join our second bus to Iowa City. If you are interested please contact me at showmenohate [at] gmail [dot] com.

On Friday, May 1st, 17 same-sex couples from Missouri boarded the first Show Me Marriage Equality Bus. They were joined by a dozen clergy members, advocates, photographers, filmmaker and several reporters. Their destination was Iowa City where they legally married in what was called, "the first Midwest victory for Marriage Equality." The day marked an historic day as Missourians and the Nation witnessed these couples getting legally married.

Iowa's first dealings with same-sex marriage came in 1998, after recent court cases starting in Hawaii found that denying the right to marry to same-sex couples was incompatible with the Equal Protection Clause of the state constitutions of most states. Iowa legislators hurried to pass a local Defense of Marriage Act to prohibit marriage between gay and lesbian couples to avoid a similar court challenge.

In 2005, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on behalf of six Polk County same-sex couples and their children who were denied marriage licenses in Iowa, arguing that this denial violated the liberty and equal protection clauses in the state constitution. In 2007, the Polk County District Court ruled in favor of the couples, prompting the county to appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court. On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously upheld the District Court's ruling holding that there was no important governmental interest in denying citizens marriage licenses based on their sexual orientation.

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