Des Moines Register:
One of several rounds of applause at a One Iowa rally Wednesday night came after the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus led the crowd, holding hands in an expansive circle on the West Terrace of the Capitol Building, in a stirring round of “We Shall of Overcome.”
A few hundred people came out to show support for the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Wednesday that overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and a second ruling that could restore gay marriage in California. Many people in the crowd wore red shirts that said “The Right to Love,” and waved rainbow flags.
“We have so much to celebrate today,” said One Iowa Executive Director Donna Red Wing in a speech that lauded Iowa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s victories. She also outlined its task for the future, gaining rights for the elder, transgender and HIV positive segments of the community.
Red Wing also praised the activists who came before her. “Let us raise our voices to our friends who never got to see this day,” she said. “We will remember them.”
Among the speakers were state Senator Matt McCoy, ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Ben Stone, and Sue Huber, community organizer for Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians.
Former Senator Jeff Angelo, founder of Iowa Republicans for Freedom, got a few laughs from the crowd when he waved, and said, “This is the segment of the rally I lovingly call, ‘Everybody look at the Republican!’”
In actuality, Angelo said, more Republicans are joining the gay rights movement every day. “The tide is shifting,” he said.
Representing the religious community, Rabbi Steven Edelman-Blank of Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Des Moines led the crowd in the shehechiyanu, a celebratory Hebrew prayer. The crowd responded with “Amen.” Rev. Mark Stringer, pastor of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines said there is more work to be done. “Let’s keep at it, because I believe a god of justice, equality and love wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Gina DelCorazon, 31, was among the crowd, wearing a t-shirt that read “Legalize Gay.” She and her wife, Ana, 36, moved to Des Moines from California to start a family, and married here one year ago.
When DelCorazon, an Ames native, heard the news this morning, “I cried right away,” she said. “It’s so fantastic to feel more secure now.”
Ana agreed. “It’s huge for our family.”
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