Choosing Iowa as a Target for Gay Marriage Laws

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.

Our Sponsors

April 3, 2009


"A court ruling today made Iowa the first state in the Midwest ? and the third in the country ? to allow same-sex marriage, putting it in a class with Connecticut and Massachusetts. This is a marker that not even the nation's big blue coastal states, California and New York, have been able to achieve.

"...'We chose Iowa because Iowa has a history, particularly at the state Supreme Court level, of taking the state constitution very seriously and making independent decisions based on the state constitution,' said Kevin Cathcart, executive director of Lambda Legal, which champions equality and civil rights for gay men and lesbian women and in 2005 initiated the case that resulted in today's ruling.

"...'Through analysis and research, we came to believe that Iowa was a place where we had a real chance of convincing the courts,' Mr. Cathcart said.

"...Mr. Cathcart of Lambda said he hoped Iowa's decision would help speed up similar laws in other states. It was reached relatively quickly and is to go into effect in just three weeks, a signal to him that the court understood that many people could be married sooner if it acted quickly.

"'It's particularly important for people in the Midwest who can't travel to the East Coast or who feel that they shouldn't have to,' he said. 'It's a strong statement to the rest of the country.'"