Iowans braced this
morning for the state Supreme Court's historic answer in Varnum v.
Brien. The seven justices ruled in favor of gay marriage
proponents. Gay and lesbian couples can legally marry in Iowa.
is the first Midwestern state to offer gay marriage, and because
state marriage laws do not impose a residency requirement couples
from nearby states will be able to marry in Iowa. However, no
Midwestern state has announced it will honor those marriages.
At issue was the constitutionality of
the state's decade-old law that defines marriage as a heterosexual
Six gay and lesbian couples sued Polk
County after being denied a marriage license in 2005. Polk County
Judge Robert Hanson agreed the law was unconstitutional, but the
state Supreme Court suspended the lower court's decision and took the
case on appeal.
Iowa joins two other states where gay
and lesbian couples can marry – Massachusetts and Connecticut.
One Iowa, a gay marriage lobby group,
has planned four evening rallies across Iowa to celebrate the good
news. The rallies begin at 5:30PM in Council Bluffs, Des Moines,
Iowa City and Davenport. In Des Moines, the rally will be held at