THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR LESBIAN RIGHTS HAILS IOWA MARRIAGE VICTORY A Statement from NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter
San Francisco, California - Today, in a unanimous decision, the Iowa Supreme Court held that the Iowa statute barring same-sex couples from marriage violated the equal protection guarantee of the Iowa Constitution. Lambda Legal represents the plaintiffs in the case. The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed an amicus brief in support of the couples.
A statement from Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
"Today, the Iowa Supreme Court recognized that the constitutional guarantee of equal protection requires that same-sex couples have 'full access to the institution of civil marriage.' The ruling makes clear that civil unions or domestic partnerships cannot meet the demands of full constitutional equality.
"We hope the California Supreme Court will uphold the essential principle of equality regardless of political controversy, just as the Iowa Supreme Court has done. The eyes of California and the world are now on the California Supreme Court, which must determine whether equal protection means equal, and whether Californians will continue to share that equality in the freedom to marry."
The California Supreme Court is expected to rule on the validity of Proposition 8, which altered the California Constitution to eliminate the right to marry for same-sex couples, by June 3, 2009. For more information about NCLR's Proposition 8 legal challenge, visit www.nclrights.org.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.