The co-owners of Lucullan's Italian Grill in Ames walked away with their marriage license at about 11:30 a.m., just before a Polk County judge put a stay on his Thursday ruling that overturned Iowa's ban on same-sex marriages.
Lowman said they still planned to get married Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames, despite the judge's decision.
The Ames couple has been together 30 years and together have four children; two from Lowman's earlier marriage and two adopted by Kassis.
Lowman said their family has generally been accepted in Ames, but some people have boycotted their restaurant.
He and Kassis considered traveling to New York or California about a year and a half ago when several cities passed laws allowing gay marriage. Their main reason for trying to become legally married, Lowman said, is inheritance laws and protection of their children.
Whether their marriage will be valid does not matter to Lowman right now.
"I think showing intent is a really important part of what we're doing," he said.
He said he had respect for the judge to make his original ruling.
"I think he's a very courageous man to have done anything from the beginning," Lowman said. "It's not a popular thing to do."
Their church has supported them from the beginning, he said.
"We really love our church. They've cheered us on. They're all for this," Lowman said.
Effect of ruling confined to Polk County
Connie Soesbe with the Story County Recorder's Office said a pair of women came in Friday and asked for a marriage license.
They were turned away.
While the Polk County ruling opened a window for same-sex marriages to be legally done in Iowa, the effect of the ruling is confined to within the county, said Story County Attorney Stephen Holmes.
"The district court in Polk County has ruled that it violates due process and so has decided that same-sex couples can lawfully marry," Holmes said. "But that's only in the geographic area of Polk County."
Holmes said he believed the decision almost certainly will be appealed, likely in the Iowa Supreme Court. If it is overturned, any marriages resulting from the licenses obtained on Friday will be rendered void.
What effect the Polk County ruling ultimately will have on further court proceedings is unknown, Holmes said. If the statute is challenged in any other counties, District Judge Robert Hanson's decision that the law violates constitutional rights to due process and equal protection could influence the decisions of other judges.
"It may have some persuasive effect where it can be looked to by other district court judges around the state, but it isn't controlling," Holmes said. "The judge certainly did not go along with the law as it is written, and ... whether or not his decision will be upheld or whether he will be overturned by an appellate court, that's anybody's guess."
ISU's LGBT group says decision was a long time coming
Members of the LGBT community at Iowa State University were excited to hear about Hanson's decision, said Nathan Bell, vice president of the ISU's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Ally Alliance.
"I think it's great, and it has been talked about all over the campus today," he said.
Two ISU students Bell knows, Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan, were able to get a marriage license before the ruling was stayed.
"In Iowa, this has been a really long time in coming," Bell said. "Personally, I never thought I would see this until I was much older. To hear it yesterday was amazing."
The judgment, Bell said, was a boon for the state.
"It's an amazing time to be an Iowan right now, particularly an Iowan student, and to be able to say that your home state has taken this massive progressive step forward," he said.
That the judgment likely will be appealed and possibly overturned is disheartening, Bell said, but this is a battle the LGBT community has waited for.
"It's just time to show our support and let people know how important this issue is to us," he said.