Iowa may be the next state to allow gay marriages. This comes on Tuesday, December 9th, after arguments ended before the Iowa Supreme Court. Varnum vs. Brien involves six same-sex Iowa couples who sued Polk County Recorder and Registrar Timothy Brien in 2005, after his office denied them marriage licenses.
The case stems from an August 2007 decision by Polk County District Court Judge Robert Hanson, who ruled that the state law allowing marriage only between a man and a woman violates the rights of due process and equal protection.
After the ruling, almost two dozen people applied for marriage licenses in Polk County, but only one couple successfully got married before Hanson stayed his decision the next day.
“We are suggesting that everybody be able to participate equally in an institution that has existed since the beginning of this state,” said former Iowa Solicitor General Dennis Johnson. He added, “my clients have exactly the same constitutional rights as everybody else, (but) they choose to marry someone of the same sex.”
Iowa is the most recent state to nab the national spotlight over the issue of gay marriage. In November, California notably passed Proposition 8, a gay marriage ban, that prompted nation wide protests. On October 10th, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that ruled that were discriminatory and the state must allow same-sex marriage under the equal protection clause of its constitution. Thirty states have laws banning gay marriage.