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04/03/2009

Because it's not a victory until press releases tell you so..

by Jeremy Hooper

Iowa. The national organizations weigh in:

Hrcnew“This is a truly historic day for Iowa and a proud day for every American who believes in the promise of equal rights and fairness for all,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The Iowa Supreme Court did its job by recognizing that gay and lesbian couples who form committed relationships and loving families deserve the same level of respect afforded to heterosexual couples. The unanimous court made forcefully clear that the state constitution guarantees the same rights and protections for all Iowans. This decision strengthens Iowa families and makes a strong statement for equality all across the nation.”

“We congratulate and commend Lambda Legal, the numerous organizations and individuals who briefed the Supreme Court, and, of course, the courageous plaintiff couples and their families who looked to the courts to vindicate their rights,” said Solmonese. “We also thank One Iowa for their hard work across the state to ensure that gay and lesbian couples and their families receive the recognition that they rightfully deserve.”
Iowa Becomes First Midwestern State to Recognize Marriage Equality for Gay and Lesbian Couples [HRC]

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Ll5-1"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective. The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification."

"Today's victory is a testament to the strength of love, hope and courage — our clients have shown an abundance of all three for many years and now at long last they will be able to marry," said Camilla Taylor, Senior Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal and lead architect of the Varnum v. Brien lawsuit. "This will go down as another proud day in Iowa's long history of protecting individual rights."

"It's a wonderful new day for fairness. The Court's decision is thorough, well–reasoned and based on the Iowa Constitution," said Dennis Johnson, formerly a partner at Dorsey and Whitney in Des Moines who argued the case on behalf of Lambda Legal's clients before the Iowa Supreme Court in December 2008.
Iowa Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Lambda Legal’s Historic Lawsuit [Lambda Legal]

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Task“This ruling marks another watershed moment in the struggle for full equality. No longer will same-sex couples have their relationships treated as less than equal by the state. The court rightly affirmed that no loving committed couple should be denied marriage and the critical protections only marriage can provide. This ruling also affirms our common humanity by providing same-sex couples with the opportunity to participate in the shared hopes and dreams of making a public commitment to the person they love. We are thrilled that equality has come to Iowa!

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to the plaintiffs and groups that made today’s victory possible, especially to Lambda Legal for serving as lead legal counsel, and One Iowa for its statewide public education and advocacy to promote the freedom to marry. We know that many fair-minded Iowans — and fair-minded people across the country — will be celebrating with us in response to today’s decision.”

Task Force hails historic Iowa Supreme Court ruling granting the freedom to marry to same-sex couples [Taskforce]

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Picture 11-116"The Iowa Supreme Court’s decision is a historic affirmation of equality," said People For the American Way Foundation Interim President Michael B. Keegan. "It’s a joyous day for the Iowa families involved in the case, and for equality advocates in Iowa and across the nation. Congratulations to the courageous couples who challenged unfair and unconstitutional discrimination, and to One Iowa, Lambda Legal, and all their allies. We were glad to support their work in this case."

Keegan urged Americans not to be confused by expected distortions of today’s ruling from opponents of marriage equality.

"Americans rely on independent courts to uphold constitutional principles, and that’s what the Iowa Supreme Court did today," said Keegan. "The Court did its job. This ruling protects Iowa families. And it reaffirms the state’s tradition as a leader in ending historic forms of discrimination."
Unanimous Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Marriage Equality Ruling [PFAW]

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“Today’s ruling affirms that loving, committed gay and lesbian couples should no longer be excluded from marriage,” said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. “GLAAD congratulates and expresses our deepest appreciation to One Iowa, Lambda Legal, the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, and the other organizations, leaders and courageous couples whose work and perseverance culminated in today’s ruling.”

“GLAAD urges local and national media reporting on this historic story to ground their coverage in the stories of the Iowa couples whose enduring commitment is at the heart of today’s decision,” Giuliano concluded.
BREAKING NEWS: Iowa Court Rules on Marriage [GLAAD]

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Ftm“There's a rainbow over Iowa today, and marriage equality has come to America's heartland,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry. “The Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous willingness to do its job faithfully will give Americans yet another opportunity to experience what they’ve already begun to see in Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, South Africa, and much of Europe—the lived reality that ending exclusion from marriage helps families and harms no one.”

The Iowa Supreme Court is the fourth state high court to uphold the freedom to marry under the state constitution. The Court continued Iowa’s history of leadership in civil rights, which includes being among the first to eliminate the ban on interracial marriages, recognize the rights of married women, and desegregate schools.

“Thanks to this unanimous ruling, more committed couples and their kids will have their families strengthened and their lives enriched, without taking anything away from anyone else,” Wolfson said. “Iowa showed the nation today that there is enough marriage for all of us to share.”

Freedom To Marry [FTM]

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NCLR“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 National Center for Lesbian Rights Hails Iowa Marriage Victory [NCLR]

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2C Acluf Lgbt“The Iowa Supreme Court has given an incredibly well reasoned explanation for why our constitutional principals of fairness and equality simply will not permit us to continue to deny lesbian and gay couples the right to marry,” said Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project. “This unanimous decision coupled with the recent movement by statehouses across the nation to advance pro-marriage bills shows that the tide has finally turned in support of the freedom to marry.”

In reaching its decision, the court said, “Our responsibility … is to protect constitutional rights of individuals from legislative enactments that have denied those rights, even when the rights have not yet been broadly accepted, were at one time unimagined, or challenge a deeply ingrained practice or law viewed to be impervious to the passage of time.”

The case, Varnum, v. Brien, was brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of six same-sex couples and their children. Today’s decision affirms a lower district court decision ruling that it is unconstitutional for the state to deny same-sex couples from marrying in the state. The ACLU field friend-of-the-court briefs both before the district court and the Iowa Supreme Court.

“Like the Iowa justices who courageously made Iowa a legal haven for desegregation and equality nearly a century before the federal government did so and who issued pioneering decisions advancing the rights of women, the court today showed the world that Iowa is again among the leaders in America’s quest for justice and fairness,” said Ben Stone, Executive Director of the ACLU of Iowa.

...

Picture 15-67"Stonewall Democrats applauds the ruling of the Iowa Supreme Court in Varnum vs. Brien and their finding that the Constitution of the State of Iowa does not permit discrimination. This decision secures the freedom of religious institutions to continue, as they have to marry and recognize relationships they so choose. In Varnum vs. Brien, six Iowa couples filed suit seeking the extension of marital protections to their families. These courageous couples include Kate and Trish Varnum, founding members of the Linn County Stonewall Democrats.

Thanks to the courage of the couples involved in this case - and the expert guidance of Lambda Legal - Iowa now enjoys a competitive advantage among neighboring states - and indeed the entire Midwest - in attracting new businesses to the state and the best and brightest workers during this difficult economic climate. In recent years, Iowa has long been afflicted by a 'brain drain', with a substantial portion of its young workforce moving to neighboring states for job opportunities. Providing its workforce with the legal protections of marriage will help attract new investment and bring jobs back to the Hawkeye State. This ruling is not only a benefit to Iowa's families, but it is a boost to their state economy.

Stonewall Democrats throughout Iowa - and the entire nation - are celebrating this ruling as a vindication of human dignity and civil rights. In the coming days and weeks and months, we will with working with Democrats and the statewide equality organization, One Iowa, to defend equality and protect the economic advantage that Iowa has gained today."

Stonewall Democrats Applaud Iowa Marriage Ruling [Stonewall Democrats]
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Your thoughts

Gee, where is the release from the Wood Shed Republicans? They must be running it past Rush first.

Posted by: cedlitz | Apr 4, 2009 2:01:55 AM

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