One of the feel-good stories in women's basketball last week came from the fact that Minnesota went from looking like it was potentially going to ban gay marriage to legalizing it, just before Lynx star Seimone Augustus and her fiancee LaTaya Varner were about to settle for a wedding in Iowa.
Augustus, a former No. 1 overall pick, rookie of the year and WNBA Finals MVP, has been a prominent figure in the battle for marriage equality in the state she has called home her entire professional career. It is only fitting that she be able to get married there, especially since it is Varner's home state as well.
In a phone interview on Monday, Augustus reflected on what it will mean to her to get married in Minnesota after fighting so hard for gay marriage.
"It will mean a lot to me," Augustus said. "But I first want to thank everyone else. People thank me for being a voice, but there are so many other people who went door to door and went to churches to convince them it was the right thing to do and made it possible. Minnesota has loved me and embraced me as one of their own."
A gay marriage ban was proposed in Minnesota just two years ago, but it was rejected and the state went in a completely different direction by approving a bill to legalize same sex marriage on May 14.
Minnesota is now the 12th state to allow gay marriage, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Maryland, Washington, Rhode Island, Delaware and Iowa. It is also allowed in Washington, D.C.
Clearly, Iowa would have been the next best option for Augustus and Varner, seeing as all the other states are on either the East or West Coast. But now they don't have to worry about traveling at all.
"I think the first weddings are going to be held in August," said Augustus, who is now glad she and Varner chose to delay their wedding because of when the WNBA season began. "Hopefully we'll be playing long after that, win a championship and cap it off with a wedding at the end."