GOP lawmakers in Iowa want in on same-sex marriage legal battle

BY admin

April 26 2006 11:00 PM ET

Seventeen
Republican state lawmakers in Des Moines, Iowa, have
asked a judge to let them join a legal battle over
whether same-sex marriages should be allowed. The
lawmakers filed affidavits in a Polk County lawsuit,
contending that they have an interest in the case because
changing social policy could affect the state budget.
Six Iowa couples filed lawsuits in December
after being denied marriage licenses. The lawsuit
contends that Iowa marriage laws are unconstitutional
because they draw "impermissible distinctions based on
sex and sexual orientation."
The legislators—11 senators and six
representatives—argue in court papers that "the
impact on the state's budget, and on a wide variety and
great number of laws, would be substantial" if gay couples
are allowed to wed. Court papers filed on behalf of
the six couples insist that the lawmakers "lack a
legally cognizable interest" in the case and merely
want to express their opinions in court.
Judge Robert Hanson has scheduled a June hearing
on whether the legislators will be allowed to
intervene. The lawsuit will begin in October, and the
couples will ask Hanson to rule on the case without
taking testimony, said attorney Dennis Johnson. If no
testimony is accepted, the judge will likely rule on
the case by the end of the summer. (AP)

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