A unanimous Iowa Supreme Court today upheld a lower court ruling that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the equal protection clause of the state's constitution. People For the American Way Foundation, which was amicus in the case, welcomed the decision as a victory for core constitutional and American values.
"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."
Polk County Attorney John Sarcone told the Associated Press that his office won't ask for a rehearing, meaning the court's decision should take effect after that three-week period.
"Our Supreme Court has decided it, and they make the decision as to what the law is and we follow Supreme Court decisions," Sarcone said. "This is not a personal thing, we have an obligation to the law to defend the recorder, and that's what we do."
Advocates against same-sex marriage have said they would likely not appeal a ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. They plan to ask lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment and put the issue to voters.