Friday, April 03, 2009

Same-sex couples may marry in Iowa

"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."

These words, written by the Iowa Supreme Court, confirm the Iowa Constitution's promises of liberty and equality. The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled this morning that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in Iowa.

The Iowa Supreme Court is the fourth state high court to rule that excluding same–sex couples from civil marriage is unconstitutional, after Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut.

According to Lambda Legal:
Lambda Legal filed this case in 2005 on behalf of six same–sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in Iowa, and on behalf of three of their children. Dawn and Jen BarbouRoske of Iowa City are one of the wonderful plaintiff couples. They have been together more than 18 years and have two children, McKinley and Breeanna. After Jen delivered McKinley eight weeks early, they realized that Dawn could be prevented from being with their daughter in the hospital because she was not legally related to either Jen or the baby. Because they were not married, they had to leave their daughter in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital to seek the help of an attorney. This experience drives home just how important it is to be able to marry.

For more information on Lambda Legal and this ruling, see Lambda Legal's website.

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