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I was listening to the Des Moines NPR station--running the local news segment--this morning on my way to an appointment.

Listening in that unfocused, "I like listening to NPR newscasts, but I'm not really interested in this particular piece" way.

It was a report about how farmers here in Iowa are being affected by the sequester (I think), how difficult it is for them to file taxes given the complexity of the agricultural tax codes, and so on.

You know, really fascinating stuff to this city boy from California.

Then, I heard it--or my unconscious mind heard it, because it took me about five seconds to process what I had just heard and make sense of it.

My brain knew something important had just been said--something that was made even more important by the nonchalant manner in which it was phrased, the lack of any particular emphasis on the words.

It went something like this:

"Farmer Roy Jones says that he will be able to wait until April 15 of this year to file his taxes, an extension granted this year by the IRS due to the effects of the sequester.

Farmer Jones and his husband James Jones...."

My brain took a few seconds of saying to itself "What did I just hear?" before it resolved into the sequential thoughts "That's right--we have gay marriage here in Iowa!" and "They mentioned it in a news report just as easy and natural as if they were talking about 'Roy Jones and his wife Jenny Jones'".


How damn cool is that!

There are a few things I like about this state.  And that just rose to the top of my list.

Take that, California!

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