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Gay Iowa City: Indie College town where you can marry

Famed for creative writing, indie bookstores and specialty beers, gay life in this riverfront college town got a big boost from the April 2009 Iowa Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality. Visitors will find a resilient burg of 67,000 with a small but growing gay scene and a progressive and inclusive mainstream. Bronze sidewalk plaques honor famous authors, setting the cultural tone. Head to neighboring Coralville for suburban pleasures like a mall and a skating rink (nice in Iowa's uber-humid summers).