One Iowa

One Iowa
One Iowa
Formation November 2006
Purpose/focus LGBT rights
Headquarters Des Moines, Iowa (USA)[1]
Region served Iowa (USA)
Executive director Carolyn Jenison[2]

One Iowa is the largest LGBT rights activist group in Iowa. It was instrumental in the state's Supreme Court ruling to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage.



The organization was founded in November 2006 following the 2005 suit filed by Lambda Legal that led to the Varnum v. Brien suit.[3] At first, the emphasis of the group was marriage equality, but soon after formation, a board of directors was established and efforts were increased to include civil rights, civil marriage, LGBT families and aging.[4] As of 2009, One Iowa is the largest LGBT rights activist group in the state.[5]


The organization has used the Internet and other grassroots methods to spread its message. It established a Facebook page, and has a website. During Varnum, the group contacted residents and urged them to contact their local officials. They also held forums in towns throughout Iowa that included LGBT community members, individuals from the religious establishment and legal scholars, where they emphasized the need for marriage equality.[3]

Following Varnum, the group was lauded for its grassroots efforts by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.[6] However, the group's efforts also faced criticism. Congressman Steve King (R-IA) remarked that the state would become "a gay-marriage mecca" following the court's decision. But One Iowa's spokesman, Justin Uebelhor, maintained that his group's efforts concerned "Iowa couples" and that it was not his intention to turn the state into a "sideshow."[7]

The organization has since worked to educate court recorders on how to "make sure gays and lesbian couples feel welcomed" when applying for a marriage license, and have allowed for the participants to choose from either "bride," "groom" or "spouse" on the document.[8]

See also


External links

  • [1] — official website

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