The Momentum for Marriage in the Federal Courts

by Outreach Coordinator Keenan Crow.

For 5 years now, gay and lesbian couples have enjoyed the freedom to marry in our state… until they leave our borders. And, while we have recently enjoyed watershed victories for LGBT rights, we should not forget that a majority of states—33—still refuse to recognize marriage equality.

The only reason Iowa is not among those 33 is because of our state court system. Iowa’s non-partisan judiciary consistently ranks among the top courts in the nation. Unfortunately, many states don’t have such a system.

There is, however, another tool available for residents of those states, one that often goes unnoticed: the federal courts.

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Making History: Celebrating 5 Years of Marriage Equality in Iowa

RedWingFive years ago on April 3, 2009, Iowans won the freedom to marry.

Today, we celebrate. We celebrate the courageous plaintiff couples in the historic Varnum v. Brien case. We celebrate Lambda Legal and the advocates who helped win the case. We celebrate the 7 Iowa Supreme Court justices who did the right thing and ruled unanimously in favor of marriage for gay and lesbian couples, even though it cost some of them their jobs.

Iowa helped pave the way for marriage across the country. As the third state in the nation to embrace the freedom to marry, we helped propel the nation forward.

Today, 17 states and the District of Columbia have achieved marriage and a majority of Americans support marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Five years ago, this was not the case.

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