Steve King Says It’s Legal, So I Tried To Marry My Lawnmower

“You could marry your lawnmower with this decision,” Iowa Congressman Steve King said last week about the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

Something about that statement didn’t seem very… accurate. But hey, this is an elected member of the U.S. Congress, responsible for crafting the nation’s laws. So Starting Line decided to do a little fact-checking of our own on this topic. That’s right, I actually tried to marry my lawnmower.

I wheeled her out of the garage, placed her in the car and took her down to the Polk County Recorder’s office in downtown Des Moines to get our marriage license (you can buy a wedding registry gift for us here). After rolling my bride-to-be into the administration building, I sat down with Polk County Recorder Julie Haggerty to ask her if I could, in fact, marry my lawnmower. Watch the video to see what happened:

If you can’t watch the video right now, here’s the transcript from my conversation with Haggerty:

Me: Hi Julie, so I came by the Recorder’s office today because I want to get a marriage license. For myself and my lawnmower.

Haggerty: Ok, the answer to that would be no. First of all – well, I should back up a bit and say how old is your lawnmower?

Me: Maybe six or seven years.

Haggerty: You have to be 18 years old to get a marriage license. And the other person, the other party needs to be able to sign a contract, has to have a government ID, and has to be able to have a witness who says they can enter into a contract. So I think on those counts alone you can’t marry your lawnmower.

Me: Now is it because I’m already married to a woman? Would I have to divorce her first? With the stuff Steve King is saying, it seems like everything is fair game now.

Haggerty: See, I should probably have asked that question first, are you married? Because if you’re still married, obviously you can’t enter into a contract.

Me: Ok, so no marriage with my lawnmower?

Haggerty: No marriage because you’re married, and no marriage with a lawnmower because it’s an inanimate object. You cannot marry a lawnmower.

Me: What about a snow blower?

Haggerty: [shakes head no]


So there you have it, readers: Steve King is wrong. You cannot marry your lawnmower, as explained by Haggerty for a number of reasons:

– It’s an inanimate object
– It would have to be 18 years old
– It doesn’t have a government ID
– It would have to sign a contract
– You need a witness to confirm it can give consent to enter into a contract (my mower only makes revving noises, so I doubt it could do this)

This will certainly be bad news for the exactly zero people who wanted to marry one of their lawn and garden equipments (could you have claimed common law marriage if it’s lived with you in your garage for years?). It’s good news, however, for the proponents of marriage equality who accurately argued that legalizing gay marriage would not lead to any of the outlandish “slippery slope” situations opponents predicted.

But whatever, go ahead Steve King. Keep insinuating that two loving gay men or women entering into marriage is as bizarre and unnatural as someone marrying their lawnmower. See how far ridiculous statements like that get the Republican Party in the 21st Century. It may be funny to you, but Republicans’ desire to reverse the ruling and invalidate many Americans’ marriages is no laughing matter to them, their family or friends.

Most Republican candidates for president may not share King’s love of incendiary or dumb comments, but their actual policy on gay marriage is no different than his. And they’re more than happy to appear with King when traveling through Northwest Iowa.

One final note: next time, Congressman King, suggest marrying a tractor. Do you have any idea how much fun us headline writers would have working in Kenny Chesney’s “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” song into a title?


Enjoy this post? Want a unique and fun perspective on Iowa politics and the Iowa Caucus? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And if you like what we do, donate to keep us online (pretend it’s a wedding registry gift)!

by Pat Rynard
Posted 8/5/15

26 Comments on "Steve King Says It’s Legal, So I Tried To Marry My Lawnmower"

  • How racist of the judge. Requiring a photo id?? but how will poor people and minorities be able to get married if they are forced to show an id?? obviously in today’s white privileged society only wealthy people and white people are allowed to marry. why didn’t you explain to that racist judge that requiring a photo id to get married is discriminatory?

  • First, Steve King is not an authority on what is legal or not.
    Second, you are an unbelievably stupid wingnut.

    • Unless, of course, your sarcasm was so well hidden that I missed it the first time around… If that’s the case, I apologize unreservedly.

  • The goal is to convince Steve King that you WERE married and have him send you a wedding gift. I assume you’re registered at Lowes and Home Depot.

  • I have two lawnmowers: Does this mean that I have to move to Utah and become a Mormon? How do I determine the gender of my lawnmower?

    After Steve King marries his lawnmower, I think the ghost of John Bobbitt will visit him upon consummating the marriage. However it will only be a small-loss for Mr. King, who apparently does not have much to lose in the process.

  • A lawn mower is not necessarily just a thing; it can also be a person that is hired or volunteers to mow a lawn. Imagine (for the sake of argument) that Representative King hired a human lawn mower. One could even imagine that human being is an undocumented immigrant, a status unknown to King. Wouldn’t that be an interesting pickle for Representative King, should he actually be serious about marrying the mower (assuming, for the sake of argument, his current wife wasn’t an issue)?

  • I don’t think in a spiritual aspect you’d have a lot of companionship, other than working your butt off mowing with him or her, but at least the Good Lord won’t have a problem with it. smile!

  • Most states have a law that if one party is convinced they have gotten legally married, then they are legally married. King is delusional enough that he could likely convince a judge of this and be declared legally married to his lawnmovwer. The lawnmower could then divorce owing to emotional distance and bat shit craziness and could get alimony from King.

  • This is a slippery slope. If people can get married to their lawn mowers, then what’s next ? People of the same sex getting married ?

  • this video has gone viral – and no surprise – it’s hilarious
    the county clerk is great – not cracking up, noting that its too young to marry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *