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Iowa high court to review lesbian divorce

Iowa high court to review lesbian divorce

The Iowa supreme court agreed Tuesday to review a divorce agreement granted to two lesbians who wanted to end the civil union they obtained in Vermont. U.S. representative Steve King, six state lawmakers, and the Church of Christ of Le Mars and its pastor sought the review. They hope to block the divorce, saying Iowa law does not recognize marriage between two women. The court's action effectively halts the divorce of Kimberly Jean Brown and Jennifer Sue Perez. The two women, from Sioux City, were granted a divorce by Woodbury County district court judge Jeffrey Neary on November 14. Neary said he didn't immediately notice the gender of the couple involved, but decided to let the decision stand because the U.S. Constitution requires states to recognize each other's laws. He later amended the decree to eliminate any reference to marriage and changed the wording to civil union. The two women went to Vermont in March 2002 to take advantage of the state's civil union laws. Iowa "recognizes only a man and a woman in a marriage, and that would also mean that a judge could not dissolve a marriage between a same-sex couple," said state senator Neil Schuerer, one of the lawmakers challenging the divorce.

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