Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

April 26, 2013

16 same-sex marriage certificates issued in Appanoose County

It’s been four years since the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act in April 2009 and legalized same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage certificates became available April 27, 2009 in Iowa.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health website: In 2009, 1,138 female and 645 male same-sex marriage certificates were issued; in 2010, 1,082 female and 512 male same-sex marriage certificates were issued; in 2011, 885 female and 417 male same-sex marriage certificates were issued.

The department’s website doesn’t have marriage records available for 2012 or 2013.

Iowa’s same-sex marriage law was touted as a way to boost the economy.

In April of 2008, a California-based group released a report that states Iowa’s budget would realize a net gain of $5.3 million per year due to same-sex marriage.

The report issued by the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, states the net impact for Iowa would result from “an increase in state income and sales tax revenue” and “savings in expenditures on state means-tested public benefit programs.”

The economic impact in Appanoose County, according to Joyce Bieber, executive director of the Centerville-Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, would be difficult to determine until the businesses that cater to weddings were asked if they had seen an increase in business.

“The only way that you could really measure it is if you surveyed the businesses that cater to weddings,” Bieber said.

Appanoose County may have seen an economic impact from same-sex marriages as long as the individuals involved utilized local businesses that deal with weddings.

“It does have an economic impact where they are coming here, staying here,” Bieber said. “There potential could be, because we certainly have the facilities.”

Bieber said Appanoose County is becoming known as a wedding destination because of places like Honey Creek Resort State Park, Bessie’s Barn and the Manhattan.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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