Iowa Ends Gay Couples’ Exclusion From Marriage

The Iowa Supreme Court today handed down a unanimous decision in Varnum v. Brien in favor of the freedom to marry, bringing marriage equality to America's heartland.

Iowa now joins Massachusetts and Connecticut in ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.

Following the decision, Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy released a joint statement which celebrated the ruling:

“Thanks to today’s decision, Iowa continues to be a leader in guaranteeing all of our citizens’ equal rights…When all is said and done, we believe the only lasting question about today’s events will be why it took us so long.  It is a tough question to answer because treating everyone fairly is really a matter of Iowa common sense and Iowa common decency.”

  1. Join the celebration in Iowa
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Iowa Supreme Court ruling on marriage set for release Friday

Des Moines Register
April 2, 2009

A long awaited and significant Iowa Supreme Court case ruling on marriage for gay couples will be released tomorrow, likely at 8:30 a.m. The case, Varnum vs. Brien, involves six same-sex Iowa couples who sued Polk County Recorder Timothy Brien in 2005, after his office denied them marriage licenses. Polk County District Judge Robert Hanson sided with the couples in a ruling last year, but he suspended his decision until the high court speaks. (Link)

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Anti-Gay Marriage Resolution in Sioux City Is on Hold

Des Moines Register
December 16, 2008
Members of the city council of Sioux City, Iowa, voted Monday to delay action on a proposal that would publicly oppose marriage equality, citing the need for advice from the state attorney general's office on "whether [they] have the jurisdiction and authority" to pass such a measure. [Link]

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Sioux City Council to Vote on Marriage

Des Moines Register
December 14, 2008
Sioux City, Iowa, Councilman Brent Hoffman is urging his colleagues to adopt a resolution stating the city council's opposition to marriage for gay couples and calling for a statewide vote on marriage equality. [Link]

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EDITORIAL: Iowa Supreme Court Throws Window Open

Des Moines Register
December 9, 2008
The Des Moines Register editorial board writes that in the Iowa Supreme Court case that could result in the state's marriage ban being lifted, the court "is going to extraordinary lengths to make sure all who are interested can learn about the case and observe the oral argument." [Link]

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Next stop on marriage debate in courts: Iowa

The Associated Press
December 7, 2008
The marriage debate moves to the Midwest this week as the Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments in a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex couples' marriages. If the high court rules in favor of the half-dozen gay couples who sued, it would make Iowa the fourth state after Massachusetts, California and Connecticut to uphold the right of same-sex couples to legally marry. In California, however, voters have negated the courts by amending the state constitution to ban gay couples' marriages. [Link]

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Will same-sex marriage be lawful? Someday

Albert Lea Tribune
December 2, 2008
"I can look you straight in the eye and tell you this: Even though same-sex marriage took a beating at the ballot box on Nov. 4, there will come a day when same-sex marriage will be allowed in every state in America." [Link]

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About 6 in 10 Iowans Back Same-Sex Unions, Poll Finds

Des Moines Register
November 26, 2008
A poll by the University of Iowa found that a majority of Iowans support relationship recognition for gay couples: 28.1 percent of respondents said they favor marriage; 30.2 percent back civil unions; 32 percent oppose both; and 10 percent are undecided. [Link]

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Our View - Time to recognize same-sex couples’ right to marry

Iowa Press-Citizen
November 21, 2008
"If marriage is a 'civil contract,' then the benefits of such a contractual agreement must be granted to all Iowans equally. Limiting the contract only to consenting partners of the opposite sex unfairly excludes the estimated 5,800 same-sex couples living in Iowa." [Link]

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Iowa Supreme Court schedules marriage hearing

Chicago Tribune
October 3, 2008
The Iowa Supreme Court says it will hear arguments in a case challenging the state's law banning gay couples' marriages. The court on Friday announced it will hear oral arguments in the case on Dec. 9. Both sides will be given 30 minutes to present their arguments. [Link]
Read more about Iowa.

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