Same-Sex Iowa Couple Celebrating Supreme Court Ruling
CREATED Jun. 26, 2013
Omaha, NE -- On Wednesday, the Supreme Court issues two rulings on gay marriage.
One of them allows gay married couples to qualify for federal benefits. That decision opens up a whole new world for people living just across the river in Iowa.
Troy and Jason Fienhold-Haasis celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary on Monday.
Now, they're one of the thousands of couples across the country celebrating what they call a major milestone toward equality.
"It means our marriage is legal federally," said Troy. "The government recognizes us as full citizens."
Recognition is something that couples like Troy and Jason have been waiting for.
"It's such a good feeling to know that, finally, our government recognizes us the same as they recognize our neighbors, the same way they recognize my sister and her husband and the same they recognize my mom and dad," said Troy.
Troy and Jason got married in Toronto in 2005.
In 2009, Iowa legalized same-sex marriage
Shortly after that, Troy lost his job. He and Jason packed their bags and moved from Omaha to Council Bluffs so he could be put on Jason's health insurance.
Federal benefits like social security, hospital visitation and filing a joint tax return were things they still couldn't do. The federal government didn't recognize the marriage until Wednesday.
"It can't be understated how huge it was," said Troy. "It can't be understated."
Troy said this is a step in the right direction, but also said the LGBT community is not done fighting for what they call basic civil rights.
"Today was a huge ruling for our community," he said. "We still have work to do, but it's on the horizon."
Troy said the next step is to take on the states where same sex marriage is illegal. He said he anticipates a lot of lawsuits in those 37 states.