Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Iowa Court Hears Same-Sex Marriage Case Today

UPDATE: This morning Lambda Legal sent out this message, inviting everyone to a teleconference regarding the Iowa Supreme Court hearing their cases for same-sex marriage.

BREAKING NEWS: This morning, Lambda Legal argued our historic marriage case, Varnum v. Brien,
before the Iowa Supreme Court. "We hope that the Court breathes life into the Iowa Constitution's promise of equality," said Camilla Taylor, Senior Staff Attorney and chief architect of the lawsuit.

The case was argued this morning on behalf of Lambda Legal's six plaintiff couples and their children by co-counsel Dennis Johnson, former Iowa Solicitor General and partner at the firm Dorsey and Whitney.

Lambda Legal would like to invite you to a telephone briefing this Thursday, December 11, at 2:00 pm EST (1:00 pm CST, 11:00 am PST) to learn more about this landmark case. We are making history again, and we would like for you to share in this historic moment on the road to marriage equality.

In August of 2007, a district court ruled that denying marriage to same–sex couples violates the Iowa Constitution. But the court granted a stay of the decision pending appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court. In March of 2008, we filed our brief with the Iowa Supreme Court, which was joined by 15 friend–of–the–court briefs supporting same-sex couples seeking the right to marry and the right of their children to have their families treated fairly.

Ingrid Olson and her partner Reva Evans are plaintiffs in the case with their son Jamison. Today Ingrid said: "My grandparents were married 68 years and Reva's grandparents were married 57 years. My family values the importance of marriage and commitment, and I learned that lesson very early — it's a lesson I want to pass on to our son."

Please join us for our one-hour briefing Thursday, December 11 at 2:00 pm EST (1:00 pm CST). Our Senior Staff Attorney and architect of the marriage case, Camilla Taylor, and Dennis Johnson, former Iowa Solicitor General and partner at the firm Dorsey and Whitney, will provide an overview of this latest case for marriage equality in Iowa.

Here are the call-in instructions:

Step 1: Call 888-640-7748

Step 2: Enter code 958621#

Questions can be emailed before and during the call to libertycircle@lambdalegal.org.

(We will not be able to respond to all questions during the call, but we will try to respond later in writing to any questions that we do not have time to address.)

With your support, we are making history. Please consider making a year–end donation and join us this Thursday, December 11, to hear how your support is making a difference!


The Iowa Supreme Court will hear a same-sex marriage lawsuit brought against the state today by six same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses because they were gay. This case "could echo throughout the nation" says USA Today.

If the judges rule in favor of the plaintiffs, Iowa law would make it much more difficult to overturn through a ballot initiative than in California, making Iowa the first mid-western state to allow same-sex marriage.

See local station KCCI article and video on today's session. Also, visit local LGBT Iowa advocacy group, One Iowa for more information and how you can get involved and offer support.


  1. I watched parts of this live, I am not too optimistic, the judges seemed a bit odd. I don't know.

  2. Not good. They're probably being more human than judge and scared of a major backlash. The fact that Supreme Court justices keep getting threatened with campaigns to kick them off the bench is horrible and threatening our judicial system.