Friday, April 3, 2009

Iowa Supreme Court unanimous decision: "Ban on gay marriage violates Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution"

Laura Fefchak, right, and Nancy Robinson, center, of Urbandale, Iowa, reacted to the ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court on Friday.

Photo, courtesy of David K. Purdy, Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa's Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state's gay marriage ban on Friday, making Iowa the third state where same-sex couples can tie the knot.

In its decision, the court upheld a 2007 district court judge's ruling that the law violates the state constitution. It 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.

The ruling set off celebration among the state's gay-marriage proponents.

"Iowa is about justice, and that's what happened here today," said Laura Fefchak, who was hosting a verdict party in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale with partner of 13 years, Nancy Robinson.

Robinson added: "To tell the truth, I didn't think I'd see this day."

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. 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 [Story continued here]

Video address by Iowa State Senator Matt McCoy

Prop 8 Opponents Cheer Iowa Decision (Video)
Read copy Iowa Supreme Courts decision on marriage equality here.
Read 6 page summary of decision by Iowa Supreme Court Office of Communications, here.


No comments: