Friday, April 3, 2009

UPDATE: Iowa Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

UPDATE 10:55AM PST: Openly gay Iowa Senator Matt McCoy posted a video on YouTube declaring that "Iowa will not go backwards when it comes to civil rights."

Click on "More. . ." at the bottom of the post to view the video.

UPDATE 10:08AM PST: Nan Hunter at Bilerico has already written a piece call First Thoughts on the Iowa Marriage Decision where she states a few reasons why the Iowa victory is the most important to far in the marriage equality movement:
  • The decision was unanimous, the first time that any marriage case has been won without a dissent or, for that matter, by more than a one-vote margin.
  • The decision cuts off any impulse in the legislature to opt for civil unions, saying that "a new distinction based on sexual orientation would be equally suspect."
  • ...the statutory language must be applied and interpreted in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage.

  • The victory came in Iowa, widely perceived as an all-American, proudly midwestern, emphatically non-New England state.
Read the rest of the article on Bilerico.

UPDATED: Supreme Court opinion and summary added to bottom of this post. Click on "MORE..."

The Iowa Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Friday finding that the state's same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples, making Iowa the third state where gay marriage is legal.

The ruling strikes the language from Iowa code limiting marriage to only between a man a woman.

"The court reaffirmed that a statute inconsistent with the Iowa constitution must be declared void even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion," said a summary of the ruling issued by the court.

A statement from the court's remedy:

Consequently, the language in Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman must be stricken from the statute, and the remaining statutory language must be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage.

Due to court rules, the decision will take 21 days before being final and a rehearing can be submitted during that period. Several weeks can pass before same-sex marriage licenses will be issued.


However, Attorney John Sacrone of the county attorney’s office said a rehearing will not happen.

"Our Supreme Court has decided it, and they make the decision as to what the law is and we follow Supreme Court decisions," Sarcone said. "This is not a personal thing. We have an obligation to the law to defend the recorder, and that's what we do."

Richard Socarides, an attorney and former senior adviser on gay rights to President Clinton, said the ruling carries extra significance coming from Iowa.

"It's a big win because, coming from Iowa, it represents the mainstreaming of gay marriage, Richard Socardies, attorney and former senior adviser to President Clinton told the AP. “And it shows that despite attempts stop gay marriage through right wing ballot initiatives, like in California, the courts will continue to support the case for equal rights for gays.”

Lambda Legal scheduled a news conference for early Friday to comment on the ruling.



1 comment:

  1. Iowa Supreme Court said gay-YES!
    See the actual video.