For Julie and Beverly Huddleston-Koon, their wedding reception also turned into a victory party.
“It’s awesome,” Julie said.
The Florida couple has been together for 16 years. But on Wednesday, they came to rural Scott County to legally marry in Iowa.
As family and friends celebrated, it became a timely decision to coincide with two Supreme Court rulings.
“There’s a monumental decision made on the day that we were legally married,” Julie said. “And that is amazing.”
Julie and Beverly will now be eligible for more than 1,100 federal benefits once denied to them.
An Air Force veteran, Beverly feels much more secure about helping her spouse.
“My spouse can get the benefits,” she said. “If something happens to me, she’ll have my benefits.”
Other same sex couples will also be able to marry in California once again.
“It’s just equality for everyone,” Beverly said. “That’s the main thing. We’re all Americans, and we’re all equal.”
Just by coincidence, the rulings came down on the same day as their wedding. It will make their anniversaries on June 26 even more meaningful.
“It takes a weight off your shoulders,” Julie said. “It puts you on an equal level with everyone else.”
While the rulings don’t change their love, it does change the way they live together.
Cathy Bolkcom, who officiated this and dozens of other same sex marriages, said it’s a joyous day for families.
“The pages of history have turned,” she said. “We’ve turned the corner on this.”
Happiness, love and benefits reinforced by legal decisions. For Julie and Beverly, more reasons to dance.
“It’s going to get better and better,” Julie concluded.