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 Topic: Iowa Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality

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Posted: 3 Apr 2009, 9:51 am    Post subject: Iowa Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality Reply with quote

In a unanimous ruling announced on April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down the Iowa law banning same-sex marriage on equal protection grounds.

The court declared that "We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective. The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification. There is no material fact, genuinely in dispute, that can affect this determination.

We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law. Faithfulness to that duty requires us to hold Iowa’s marriage statute, Iowa Code section 595.2, violates the Iowa Constitution. To decide otherwise would be an abdication of our constitutional duty. If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded. Iowa Code section 595.2 denies gay and lesbian people the equal protection of the law
promised by the Iowa Constitution."

The Court rejected civil unions as an alternative to marriage. Gay and lesbian couples will be permitted to obtain marriage licences when the opinion is officially published in three weeks.
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