Iowa Supreme Court hears same-sex marriage case

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Yesterday the Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments on behalf of six Iowa same-sex couples and their families who are seeking the right to marry.

“We put our best case forward, and hope that the Court breathes life into the Iowa Constitution’s promise of equality,” said Camilla Taylor, Senior Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office in Chicago.

“Iowa has a long, proud history of protecting individual rights. The government has no business standing in the way of a loving same-sex couple who wants to take responsibility for each other and their family,” said Dennis Johnson, former Iowa Solicitor General and partner at the firm Dorsey and Whitney who argued the case on behalf of Lambda Legal’s clients.

In December 2005, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit with the Polk County Court on behalf of six same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in Iowa, arguing that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the liberty and equality guarantees in the Iowa State Constitution.

In August of 2007 the district court ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

In March 2008, 15 friend-of-the-court briefs were filed supporting same-sex couples seeking the right to marry, and the right of their children not to have their families branded as inferior. Those briefs were signed by hundreds of Iowans including former Lieutenant Governors Joy Corning and Sally Pederson.

The final decision in this case will be made by the Iowa Supreme Court.

Gay marriage is legal in Connecticut and Massachusetts.