DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Friday finding that the state's same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples, making Iowa the third state where marriage is legal. [...]
Des Moines attorney Dennis Johnson, who argued on behalf of the gay and lesbian couples, said "this is a great day for civil rights in Iowa." [...]
Court rules dictate that the decision will take about 21 days to be considered final, and a request for a rehearing could be filed within that period. That means it will be at least several weeks before gay and lesbian couples can seek marriage licenses.
But Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said the county attorney's office will not ask for a rehearing, meaning the court's decision should take effect after that three-week period. [...]
Richard Socarides, an attorney and former senior adviser on gay rights to President Clinton, said the ruling carries extra significance coming from Iowa.
"It's a big win because, coming from Iowa, it represents the mainstreaming of gay marriage. And it shows that despite attempts stop gay marriage through right wing ballot initiatives, like in California, the courts will continue to support the case for equal rights for gays," he said.