Marriage Equality Day in Iowa and other events coming up this week

Today same-sex marriages become legal in Iowa, as the Iowa Supreme Court will issue a document putting its Varnum v Brien ruling into effect.

If you are planning a same-sex marriage in Iowa, One Iowa has resources for you. You can also sign up to follow One Iowa on Twitter (@oneiowa). One Iowa is organizing volunteers to be at county recorder offices during the day and attend various events this evening. If you can help, please call them at (515) 288-4019.

Equality Iowa and I’M for Iowa will be giving wedding bouquets of flowers “to couples applying for their marriage license and getting waivers to marry immediately at courthouses in Iowa City, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Mason City and Davenport,” according to an e-mail I received from I’M for Iowa.

Groups opposing marriage equality will also make their presence known today outside courthouses and county recorder offices. My advice is to ignore these people, not argue with them. They will be looking for any opportunity to claim they are being oppressed for their religious views.

After the jump I’ve posted information about other events planned for the coming week, including the annual conference for Iowa Rivers Revival and the annual dinner for the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.

Monday, April 27:

Reservations are encouraged by this date for the ACLU of Iowa’s annual dinner on May 2 (see below for event details).

One Iowa has organized eight Marriage Equality Day celebrations around the state:

Cedar Falls/Waterloo @ 7:00 pm

Home of John Wilson and Paul Danielson

317 Hartman Avenue, Waterloo 50701

Call Andrea Jansa for questions 319.360.8072

Cedar Rapids @ 7:00 pm

Home of Reverend Tom Capo

2020 Sunland Drive SE, Cedar Rapids 52403

Call Andrea Jansa for questions 319.360.8072

Council Bluffs @ 6:30 pm


114 W Broadway

Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Des Moines, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Des Moines Social Club

1408 Locust Street, Des Moines 50309

Call the One Iowa Office 515.488.4019

Iowa City, 5:30 – 8:00 pm

Home of John Harper

1301 Bristol Drive, Iowa City 52245

Call Matt Fender for questions 646.752.5932

Mason City @ 7:00 pm

Home of Dean Genth and Gary Swenson

5 Creekside Court, Mason City 50401

Call Andrea Jansa for questions 319.360.8072

Quad Cities @ 7:30 pm

Jersey Grille

5255 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport, 52807

Call Ryan Crane for questions 402.659.8110

Sioux City @ 6:30 pm

First Unitarian Church

2508 Jackson St

Sioux City, IA 51104

Also from One Iowa:

April 27, 2009 7:00 PM

PFLAG Decorah Meeting

St. Benedict’s Catholic Church

309 W. Main St.

Tuesday, April 28:

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement has organized an event on “Investing in Change”:

National philanthropist Mary Stranahan with the Needmor Fund will lead a roundtable discussion on why philanthropic dollars for community organizing and civic engagement are the best investments in the health and well-being of our communities. It runs from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Iowa Citizen for Community Improvement’s office, 2001 Forest Avenue, Des Moines. Contact

Saw this in an e-mail from I’M for Iowa:

Gene Bauer, Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder, will speak and sign copies of his new book at Prairie Lights Bookstore, 15 S Dubuque Street, Iowa City at 7:00 p.m.. Contact or (319) 358-0134.  

From the Center on Sustainable Communities:

Green Solution – Green Roofs: An Energy Efficient and Stormwater Management Alternative

Learn about the details of Green Roof Design including energy efficiency, stormwater management advantages, roof structure and design, media and plant selection. Tuesday, April 28th from 8:30am to 5:00pm at the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities. For more information, visit

I’m a big fan of “wearing your baby,” and the Des Moines Babywearing group holds two free meetings on the last Tuesday of every month:

Our group’s goals are to help area families learn to wear their babies, and to promote babywearing by educating the general public about its benefits.

Our group now has TWO meeting times!

1) Daytime. The last Tuesday of the month, 10:00 a.m. at Vineyard Church, 3615 University Ave. (Vineyard shares a building with Redeemer Lutheran. From University, turn North on 37th. The parking lot is to the right. Drive across the parking lot and you’ll see the signs pointing to the Vineyard Entrance on the East side of the building.)

2) Evening. The last Tuesday of each month, 6:30 p.m. at Willowsong Midwifery Clinic, 733 19th Street, in the upstairs space. This will be a combined babywearing and cloth diapering meeting.

During the meeting time, you will have the chance to try on GREAT baby carriers or get help with one you already have. You will also be able to learn what carrier is best for your baby or child. But most importantly, you will be able to connect with other moms, dads, and caregivers. It’s fun. You’ll like it! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 30:

Iowa Bicycle Coalition Fundraiser in Iowa City:

IBC will host a Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament on April 30 at 7 PM to raise funds for better and safer bicycling in Iowa. 1st place will hopefully pay between $400 – $500 depending on the number of players. Buy in is $30 for 800 chips, with an opitional $20 for a 500 chip add on or rebuy. If you ride your bicycle to the event you will receive an extra 100 chip. All are welcome. Even if you don’t play cards, please stop by — the Legion has food and beverages. Let’s fill the parking lot with bicycles.  Iowa City American Legion, 3016 Muscatine Ave.  For more information, please call 319-330-5587

Also on April 30, Gene Bauer, Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder, will speak and sign copies of his new book at the Des Moines Public Library, 1000 Locust Street, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Contact or (319) 358-0134.  

Friday, May 1:

Iowa Rivers Revival kicks off its fourth annual conference:

IRR’s 4th Annual Conference: Embracing Our Rivers, Webster City, Iowa – MAY 1-3, 2009

Enjoy Boone River Country and celebrate the early days of spring in Webster City, Iowa – IRR’s first River Town of the Year award recipient.  This year’s conference will offer two morning plenary presentations – an inspirational interpretation on the multiple values of rivers by Jon Stravers, followed by an in-depth overview of the Boone River watershed project between The Nature Conservancy, The Iowa Soybean Association and Prairie Rivers RC&D.  Afternoon break-out sessions offer a broad range of river-focused topics including recreation, activism and river events, political influence from the local to state level and economic development interests from the local to state level – additional programs are being developed.

Saturday evening’s Annual Banquet will include the conference keynote speaker (soon to be announced), presentation of the River Town of the Year Award and a live auction in support of IRR’s operational and program initiatives.  Auction items collected so far:  a hand-painted and crafted wooden paddle by Nancy Crowfoot • a Boone River fishing tour facilitated by Brian Stroner • locally-raised grass-fed beef – a combination of ground beef, steaks, and roasts from Jerry Peckumn • hand-crafted piece of furniture by Luke Wright • construction labor from Luke Wright • a Paddle tour/trip facilitated by Nate Hoogeveen • several more items to be added!

Join us for Sunday’s Boone River tour – either by foot, bike or boat (canoe or kayak).  The tour includes highlights along the scenic Boone River trail and will end at Briggs Woods Park for lunch and various demonstrations – depending on river conditions, the Iowa Whitewater Coalition may be able do a whitewater demonstration on the beautiful Baptismal Falls.

Meet new friends or visit old as we unite to celebrate, improve and preserve Iowa’s rivers so we can benefit and use them for years to come.  Registration information: or

Also on May 1, Gene Bauer, Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder, will speak and sign copies of his new book at Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, 120 E. Boyson Road, Hiawatha at 7:00 p.m. Cost is $10. Contact or (319) 358-0134.

Saturday, May 2:

The fourth annual conference of Iowa Rivers Revival continues in Webster City. They have a lot of good things planned:

Multiple Values of Rivers:  Jon Stravers will welcome conference guests with a program about the spiritual and emotional influence of the river and mix stories of birds, beauty and wonder found along the river  – Jon will also include a touch of original music.

The Boone River Watershed Program-Empowering Constituents Through Diverse Partnerships:   The Nature Conservancy will provide a global view of the watershed and touch on the watershed project and other planning and assessment efforts completed in the area.  The Iowa Soybeans Association will talk about their programs and goals in the watershed and how this unique partnership works.  Prairie Rivers RC&D and Prairie Winds RC&D will talk about the their role in the watershed and the Boone River Watershed Association.  It is rare to see a successful partnership between conservation NGOs and commodities groups and they will highlight this relationship.  The goal of this successful collaboration is to see all conservation action in the watershed to be locally led!

Afternoon breakout sessions include a range of river related topics:  Landscape Architecture and the Statewide Water Trails Plan – The History of the Boone River and its designation as a Protected Water Area – Policy panel – How to organize a paddle trip/highlights of the Boone River Trail – Economic Values of Rivers panel – IRR’s River Stewards Program.

Keynote:  David Faldet is keynote speaker for the conference.  Faldet recently published “Oneota Flow:  The Upper Iowa River and Its People” which is a reflection of the ways people depend on the river, the environment, and the resources of the region.  He will share excerpts from this recent work and his experiences from his time exploring the Upper Iowa River.…  David is an Iowa author and has earned the distinguished recognition of Jones Professor of English at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

‘I picked up a copy of David Faldet’s new book, “Oneota Flow,” and am enjoying it immensely. For those of us who love the Upper Iowa River, the book is a wonderful resource, poetic yet full of good information.  Each of Iowa’s rivers deserves such an expansive and caring review of its natural history and value and concerns.’  –  Robin Fortney, IRR Board of Directors

Annual Banquet:  Who will be IRR’s next River Town of the Year?  The Annual Banquet includes the keynote speaker, presentation of the River Town of the Year Award, and a live auction with items that are sure to interest anyone connected to rivers and the outdoors (overnight outings across the state, local raised beef, handmade furniture, books, music and much, much more!

Boone River Tour:  Join us Sunday for a stroll or paddle along the scenic Boone River Trail.  The tour includes highlights along the scenic Boone River trail and will end at Briggs Woods Park for lunch and, depending on river conditions, the Iowa Whitewater Coalition may be able do a whitewater demonstration nearby on the beautiful Baptismal Falls.

Enjoy Boone River Country and celebrate the early days of spring in Webster City, Iowa  for Iowa Rivers Revival’s, 4th Annual Conference: Embracing Our Rivers  –  Meet new friends or visit old as we unite to celebrate, improve and preserve Iowa’s rivers so we can benefit and use them for years to come.  Registration information: or

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is holding its annual dinner in Iowa City:

Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins will be the featured speaker at the Annual Dinner of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Iowa on May 2nd in Iowa City.  The program will also include the presentation of the 2009 Louise Noun Civil Liberties Award to former State Senator Johnie Hammond of Ames.

The Honorable Justice Wiggins, who along with all his Supreme Court colleagues recently ruled that the state law banning same sex marriage was unconstitutional, will speak about “Judicial Independence” at the event, scheduled to begin at 7 pm at the University Athletic Club on the campus of the University of Iowa.  He was appointed to the bench in 2003 by Governor Tom Vilsack.

Johnie Hammond of Ames, who served in the Iowa legislature for twenty years, will be honored with a civil liberties award named after ACLU of Iowa matriarch Louise Noun of Des Moines.  Hammond, who served on the ACLU of Iowa board for six years, has received numerous honors for her civil rights and civil liberties advocacy, including awards from the Iowa League of Women Voters, the NAACP,  Friends of Iowa Civil Rights, and the Legal Services Corporation.  She served two terms on the National Advisory Council of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.  The native of Mississippi and mother of four was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005. […]

The dinner costs $40 and is open to the public.  To learn more and purchase tickets, go to the ACLU of Iowa website at   or call 515/243-3576 x 13.  Reservations are requested by Monday, April 27.

From the Center on Sustainable Communities:

Join the Des Moines Rehabbers Club at the May meeting at learn how to repair a cracked plaster wall. Zack Bunkers of Z Painting Studio will discuss materials, preparation, and procedure for dealing with the unsightly cracks that can appear in plaster walls over time. This meeting will be a live demonstration, but if time permits, there may be some “hands-on” practice!

Please contact Steve Wilke-Shapiro at or 515-710-3484 for more information.

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