Happy 5 Year Anniversary, Iowa: David and Larry's Story

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April 1, 2014
Former Lambda Legal plaintiffs Larry Hoch and David Twombley

April 3rd marks the five year anniversary of Lambda Legal's historic decision in Varnum v. Brien, the case that won the freedom to marry in Iowa. To celebrate the milestone, our former plaintiffs reflect on what the decision has meant to them and their families.

This is David and Larry's story:

It seems impossible that nearly 5 years have gone by since our historic win for marriage equality in the Iowa Supreme Court;  and wonderful to know that Larry and I have been married for 5 years this coming September. What an incredible journey this has been. We both are often asked if we would do it again (the fight for equality, as well as getting married); our response is always the same: “In a heart beat.” I know personally I would never have missed any of the years of planning and hoping.

Two of the strongest memories for me: The day of the hearing before the Supreme Court, and the feeling following that we were going to win our law suit. Call it intuition or a hunch, but I think it was the tenor of the questions asked each side by the Justices and the answers that they received. I know I was very optimistic and never lost that feeling. The second memory, and the strongest: we had been sequestered from the press the morning the decision was to be announced - April 3, 2009 - we did not know the outcome as we came into the room to hear the official announcement. As we came in, I saw our good friends, Betty & Bruce Hunter (Betty was a student of mine over 40 years earlier); she was crying when she looked at me. My initial reaction was that we had lost the case! Of course, I found out soon that it was tears of happiness…. My heart was beating so hard before Camilla Taylor made that wonderful announcement that we had been successful. I was squeezing Larry’s hand so hard; I’m glad I didn’t break any bones! The phone calls, e-mails and all other support we received were incredible; it is a humble feeling to know that Larry and I are part of civil rights history in Iowa.

Learn more about the case here.

Check out our Love Unites US campaign here.