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april 27th 2009; and suddenly… iowa –for super serial– becomes like, the coolest place EVRE!!!

Jodi, left, with daughter Norah, and Brenda Linley celebrate after applying for a marriage license in Iowa City, Iowa, the third state to allow same-sex unions.

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That’s YOUR head, fool.

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Bloody Jack

Self portrait. April 18, 2009. (Fake pupils, real blood!)

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‘Will You Miss Me?’ Traditional.

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Gronstal blocks amendment to reverse Iowa marriage equality

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Hooray!!!

Unanimous ruling: Iowa marriage no longer limited to one man, one woman

Article taken from The Des Moines Register

The Iowa Supreme Court this morning upheld a Polk County judge’s 2007 ruling that marriage should not be limited to one man and one woman.

The ruling, viewed nationally and at home as a victory for the gay rights movement and a setback for social conservatives, means Iowa’s 5,800 gay couples can legally marry in Iowa beginning April 24.

[Partners Terri Neuendorf, right, and LaDonna Kyle, both of Des Moines, kiss outside the Judicial Building this morning after the announcement of the Iowa Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriages.]

There are no residency rules for marriage in Iowa, so the rule would apply to any couple who wanted to travel to Iowa.

Shelly Wolfe and Melisa Keeton, who waited for word of the ruling outside the Polk County Recorder’s Office, immediately called their pastor anyway to make plans.

“We’re going to make it legal,” Keeton, 31, of Des Moines said.

Wolfe, 38, and Keeton, who is 21 weeks pregnant, went through a commitment ceremony two years ago. Their marriage certificate was among the 26 that were put on hold when Polk County Judge Robert Hanson’s decision to open the door for gay marriage was delayed until the high court could weigh in.

Third state to allow same-sex marriages

Today’s decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the third in the country, to allow same-sex marriages. Lambda Legal, a gay rights group, financed the court battle and represented six couples who challenged Iowa’s 10-year-old ban on gay marriage.

Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady, who wrote the unanimous decision, at one point invoked the court’s first-ever decision, in 1839, which struck down slavery laws 17 years before the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of a slave owner to treat a person as property.

Iowa’s gay marriage ban “is unconstitutional, because the county has been unable to identify a constitutionally adequate justification for excluding plaintiffs from the institution of civil marriage,” Cady wrote in the 69-page opinion that seemed to dismiss the concept of civil unions as an option for gay couples.

“A new distinction based on sexual orientation would be equally suspect and difficult to square with the fundamental principles of equal protection embodied in our constitution,” Cady wrote.

The ruling, however, also addressed what it called the “religious undercurrent propelling the same-sex marriage debate,” and said judges must remain outside the fray.

Some Iowa religions are strongly opposed to same-sex marriages, the justices noted, while some support the notion.

“Our constitution does not permit any branch of government to resolve these types of religious debates and entrusts to courts the task of ensuring that government avoids them,” the opinion says.

The ruling explicitly does not affect “the freedom of a religious organization to define marriage it solemnizes as unions between a man and a woman,” the justices stressed.

The case, Varnum vs. Brien, involved couples who sued Polk County Recorder Timothy Brien in 2005 after his office denied them marriage licenses. Hanson sided with the couples last year but then suspended his decision pending a high court ruling.

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