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Same-sex couples
sue for marriage in Iowa

Same-sex couples
sue for marriage in Iowa


In the latest of a series of state-level actions seeking marriage rights for gay couples, Lambda Legal announced it is suing the state of Iowa.

The gay advocacy group Lambda Legal on Tuesday announced that it is suing the state of Iowa on behalf of six same-sex couples seeking the right to marry across the state. "This lawsuit is about fairness and equality," said Camilla Taylor, a staff attorney in Lambda's Chicago office. "Same-sex couples all over Iowa are devoted and love each other. Since marriage is the way the government provides protection, support, and respect for families, it is only fair that these couples be able to marry."

The lawsuit, filed in the Iowa district court for Polk County, argues that under the equal protection and due process guarantees in the Iowa state constitution, it is unlawful to bar same-sex couples from marrying. Since the lawsuit is based on state law, the Iowa supreme court will have the final word on the outcome of this case. "Without marriage, there is no way for me to declare who Trish is in my life," said Kate Varnum, a plaintiff in the case. "We want our family to be protected and treated fairly."

"Same-sex couples who are ready and willing to take on the responsibilities that come with marriage should have that opportunity," said Dennis Johnson, former solicitor general of Iowa, currently with the law firm Dorsey and Whitney in Des Moines. Johnson is working with Lambda Legal as a cooperating attorney on the case. Lambda Legal also is working on marriage cases in California (along with the ACLU and National Center for Lesbian Rights), Washington State (with the Northwest Women's Law Center), New Jersey, and New York. (

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