Saturday, April 04, 2009

Equality wins in Iowa

The Iowa Supreme Court has legalised gay marriage in the state:

In a unanimous opinion, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage "violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution."

"Consequently, the language in Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman must be stricken from the statute, and the remaining statutory language must be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage," the 69-page ruling concluded.

Iowa is now the third state in the US to provide full equality in marriage, regardless of sexual orientation (the other two are Connecticut and Massachusetts). And since its based purely on the state constitution, the only way of overturning it would be an "except for gays" amendment to the state constitution - a long and difficult process, and one which is itself being challenged in California.