GLAAD Applauds Iowa Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage

Richard Ferraro
Director of Communications
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

April 3, 2009

April 3, 2009, New York, NY – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today applauded the Iowa Supreme Court's decision in that state's landmark marriage case. The court's ruling in Varnum v. Brien affirmed a District Court's ruling that the state's ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples is unconstitutional and instructs county recorders to start issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples in twenty-one days.

CNN Newsroom 04.03.09CNN - CNN Newsroom
Iowa becomes the third state to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry after a ruling by the state Supreme Court.
— April 3, 2009

Iowa State Senator Matt McCoyIowa State Senator Matt McCoy
Openly gay Iowa Senator Matt McCoy believes the Iowa decision continues a tradition of the state's commitment to equality for all people [YouTube].
— April 3, 2009

Iowa Supreme Court Opinion: Download the Iowa Supreme Court Ruling in Varnum v. Brien (PDF)


"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.

GLAAD Media Field Strategist Sarah Kennedy is currently in Iowa supporting state LGBT leaders One Iowa and the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, as well as Lambda Legal, in their media outreach and education efforts.

Varnum v. Brien was filed by Lambda Legal in December 2005. On August 30, 2007, an Iowa District Court judge ruled that denying marriage to gay couples was unconstitutional. Twenty-four hours later, the judge issued a stay on his order; but in that time, 19 same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses and one couple legally married.

Rallies organized by One Iowa will be held today throughout the state. Go to One Iowa's website for details on rally times and locations.

The Pulse of Equality survey, conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by GLAAD, shows that majorities of Americans favor either marriage or civil unions/domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples. Three-quarters of U.S. adults (75%) favor either marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Only about two in 10 (22%) say gay and lesbian couples should have no legal recognition.For more on The Pulse of Equality Survey, download the results.