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SGN EXCLUSIVE - First couple to legally wed outside Massachusetts speaks to SGN
SGN EXCLUSIVE - First couple to legally wed outside Massachusetts speaks to SGN
by Robert Raketty - SGN Staff Writer

It may not have been their ideal wedding, but Sean Fritz, 24, and Timothy McQuillan, 21, are married nonetheless and loving every minute of wedded bliss. The pair are the first same-sex couple outside of Massachusetts to legally wed. However, they know the honeymoon could be short lived, should the state Supreme Court move to invalidate their marriage.

On Aug. 30, Polk County Judge Robert Hanson ruled that the state's ban on Gay marriage was unconstitutional. However, he later ordered a stay on the effect of his ruling until the appeals process was complete. Twenty-seven other couples received marriage licenses, but only Fritz and McQuillan completed the process in time. The county attorney ordered the recorder's office not to issue any more licenses.

Their story goes something like this: two Gay Iowa State University students meet online more than a year ago, they get engaged, marriage ruling comes out, and the they drive to Des Moines, IA and get married. As Fritz told the SGN this week, the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

The SGN spoke with Fritz about their marriage, life in the spotlight and what the future might hold for the young couple.

SGN: Are you both originally from Iowa?

Sean Fritz: Yes, I'm from Bettendorf, Iowa and Tim is from Perry, Iowa.

SGN: How did the two of you meet?

SF: We found each other on Facebook. After that we planned a coffee date and things went from there.

SGN:Who first suggested you get married?

SF: We had been discussing marriage as a couple for about 6 months. When the ruling came out, I quickly purchased rings and proposed to Tim when I picked him up for work. He, of course, said yes. The rest, as they say, is history.

SGN: It sounds like you had to jump through a lot of hoops to get married. What was that process like?

SF: We woke up before sunrise on Friday to make the trip to Des Moines. Once we got to Des Moines, we had to run around town to get all the forms signed and find a minister to perform the ceremony. Luckily, everything fell into place and we were able to get married.

SGN: Now that you're married, are you worried it might be invalidated?

SF: We are forwarding all legal questions to Lambda Legal.

SGN: How's life in the spotlight?

SF: Surreal. We had a reporter want to come record us eating dinner tonight. The other day we had a photojournalist snap drive-by pictures of us as we talked to friends. It's going to be hard to balance school with the requests from the press.

SGN: It would strike me that you may now have a leading role in promoting marriage equality to Iowans. What do you see your role being in the education campaigns and legal process?

SF: Oddly, neither of us are activists about this issue. However, we do understand our unique position in helping promote marriage equality, and are willing to accept the responsibility.

SGN: I understand you got married on the front lawn of a Unitarian minister's home. That can't be how you imagined your wedding day?

SF: It was definitely not what we always imagined, but it was perfect never the less. It was the happiest day of our lives.

SGN: Did you guys take a honeymoon and/or hold a wedding reception?

SF: We will be having a more traditional, and more private, wedding for our families and friends in the future. We did hold an impromptu honeymoon over the weekend and had some of our good friends to share wedding cake with us.

SGN: What has been the reaction of your family and friends?

SF: Everyone has been excited and supportive. Our families enthusiastically insisted on having a party to invite the in-law into the family. Professors, friends, and random people on the street have all congratulated us. At church, we received a standing ovation. Everyone in Iowa is overwhelmingly supportive of our marriage.

SGN: Finally, do you have anything you would want to say to the other 27 couples who got marriage licenses, but were unable to complete the process in time?

SF: It pains us they had to go through that disappointment, and we hope that they are allowed the same opportunity we were in the near future.

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