Friday, August 31, 2007

Same Sex Marriage In Iowa - Move, Larry

Polk County Iowa Judge Robert Hanson has ruled that Iowa's decade old gay marriage ban is unconstitutional and that the county must process marriage applications by same sex couples. The ruling would apply to any Iowan who wished to apply in that county. Two hours after the ruling was publicized Gary Seronko and David Rethmeier applied for license. From AP , "I started to cry because we so badly want to be able to be protected if something happens to one of us," Rethmeier said.

Deputy Recorder Trish Umthun expects a rush after taking 5 calls from gay couples. County Attorney John Sarcone said the County will appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court and sought an immediate stay from Hanson. House Minority Leader Christopher Rants (R-Sioux City), "I can't believe this is happening in Iowa. I guarantee you there will be a vote on this issue come January," when the Legislature convenes.

Judge Hanson, "Couples, such as plaintiffs, who are otherwise qualified to marry one another may not be denied licenses to marry or certificates of marriage or in any other way prevented from entering into a civil marriage ... by reason of the fact that both person comprising such a couple are of the same sex," on the basis of constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.

This would seem to me to be correct reasoning in demanding that all law abiding Iowans be treated the same under the law. I applaud the judge but I doubt the durability of his ruling, though it certainly would be nice to have Iowa prove me wrong.

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