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Iowa Allows Same-Sex Marriage for Less than a Day

For less than a day, Iowa officials were accepting marriage license requests from same-sex couples and one same-sex couple was officially married, becoming the first same-sex married couple outside of Massachusetts. Judge Robert Hanson ruled on Thursday in favor of six same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses under a 1998 Iowa state law that restricted marriage to the union of one man and one woman. The law was found unconstitutional, and Judge Hanson ordered that marriage laws “must be read and applied in a gender neutral manner so as to permit same-sex couples to enter into a civil marriage,” the Associated Press reports.

Polk County Attorney John Sarcone filed an appeal and was granted a stay of Judge Hanson’s ruling at 12:30 on Friday. In his motion, Sarcone argues that the decision to lift the ban on same-sex marriage was far-reaching and will likely be overturned by the Iowa Supreme Court, according to the AP. A hearing on the stay motion may be held as early as this week, Camilla Taylor, an attorney for Lambda Legal, told the AP.

During the short window when same-sex marriage was being legally recognized in Iowa, 27 couples had filed applications. Only one couple, Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan, were able to complete the entire marriage process.

Sources:

Polk County Case no. CV5965; AP 8/31/07; New York Times 9/1/07; Reuters 8/31/07; Gazette Online 8/30/07, 8/31/07

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