Iowa Supreme Court Abolishes Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Posted on April 3, 2009 by


By Jacqueline Onorato

The Iowa Supreme court declared the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on Friday, becoming the third state behind Massachusetts and Connecticut to allow same-sex marriages.

“The decision strikes the language from Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman. It further directs that the remaining statutory language be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage,” the statement on the court’s Web site says.

Praise for the decision rang high for same-sex marriage supporters.

“This is a great day for civil rights in Iowa,” said attorney Dennis Johnson, a co-counsel with Lambda Legal, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of six same-sex couples seeking to marry in Iowa. “Go get married. Live happily ever after,” he said

But other groups vowing to protect the laws banning same-sex couples from marriage were not happy with the ruling.

“It’s, quite frankly, a disaster,” said Brian English, a spokesman for the Iowa Family Policy Center. “Obviously, we’re extremely disappointed. We’re saddened, perhaps a little bit surprised in the unanimous decision that the court handed down.”

Iowa now joins a recent slew of policy questioning regarding homosexual couple’s right to marry. Recently, Vermont and New Hampshire have taken steps to legalize same-xex marriages while California recently voted to ban same-sex marriages.

According to a CNN poll, 53% of American adults oppose legal recognition of same-sex marriages while 44% approve.

*Quotes courtesy of