Friday, August 31, 2007

Gay marriage in Iowa

An Iowa county judge has struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that it does not serve any legitimate government interest and therefore violates due process and equal protection rights. His conclusion?

Couples, such as Plaintiffs, who are otherwise qualified to marry one another may not be denied licences to marry or certificates of marriage or in any other way prevented from entering into a civil marriage pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 595 by reason of the fact that both persons comprising such a couple are of the same sex.
Instead, Iowa's marriage law must be applied in a gender-neutral manner.

The case will now go to the state Supreme Court, but its unlikely to go further. As with the Massachusetts case, the deciding factor is the state, rather than federal constitution. So, if it wins on appeal, Iowa will become the second US state to allow full gay marriage.

The full ruling is here [PDF].