Archive for Friday, August 31, 2007

Judge strikes down law banning gay marriage in Iowa

August 31, 2007


— A county judge struck down Iowa's decade-old gay marriage ban as unconstitutional Thursday and ordered local officials to process marriage licenses for six gay couples.

Gay couples from anywhere in Iowa could apply for a marriage license from Polk County under Judge Robert Hanson's ruling.

Less than two hours after word of the ruling was publicized, two Des Moines men applied for a license, the first time the county had accepted a same-sex application. The approval process takes three days.

Gary Allen Seronko, 51, was listed as the groom on the form and David Curtis Rethmeier, 29, the bride.

"I started to cry because we so badly want to be able to be protected if something happens to one of us," Rethmeier said.

Deputy Recorder Trish Umthun said she took five calls from gay couples after the judge filed his ruling Thursday afternoon and expected a rush of applications today.

County attorney John Sarcone said the county will appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court and immediately sought a stay from Hanson that would prevent gay couples from seeking a marriage license until the appeal is resolved. The Supreme Court could refer the case to the Iowa Court of Appeals, consider the case itself or decide not to hear it.

A hearing is likely to be held on the stay motion next week, said Camilla Taylor, an attorney with Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization.

House Minority Leader Christopher Rants, R-Sioux City, said the ruling illustrates the need for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

"I can't believe this is happening in Iowa," he said. "I guarantee you there will be a vote on this issue come January," when the Legislature convenes.

Massachusetts is the only state where gay marriage is legal, though nine other states have approved spousal rights in some form for same-sex couples. Nearly all states have defined marriage as being solely between a man and a woman, and 27 states have such wording in their constitutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 9 months ago

"Gary Allen Seronko, 51, was listed as the groom on the form and David Curtis Rethmeier, 29, the bride."

Is anyone else disgusted?

Bubbles 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm getting tired of guys ramming their odd behaviors down our throats.

Confrontation 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm surprised at Christopher Rants' opinion, considering members of his own party are trying to have gay sex in bathrooms. You'd think he'd support his own people.

davidnta 10 years, 9 months ago

Nope not disgusted at all, actually quite happy. People just haven't had time to have the forms changed :P

Poor social conservatives, slowly losing the battle against LGBT/queer folk (just like the one they lost with the racial minorities).

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 9 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight says: "Gary Allen Seronko, 51, was listed as the groom on the form and David Curtis Rethmeier, 29, the bride." Is anyone else disgusted?

You may as well have ask if anyone else is as disgustingly open with their hateful views. What's it to you if two adults profess their love for each other? Thanks for setting the record straight, though. You are indeed shallow and without imagination. No need to elaborate further!~)

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Rants wants to keep homosexual behavior confined to where it belongs; in airport bathrooms.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 9 months ago


What does the American Dental Association have to say about this? Please post a link.

erod0723 10 years, 9 months ago

"Sodomites have the same rights as anyone else to marry a willing, unmarried member of the opposite gender, same species, who is not of the immediate family."

Parkay, You don't get the point. People in the Gay-Lesbian community don't want to marry people of the other sex. Why do you feel so threatened by what two loving people do in the privacy of their bedroom (or living room, or kitchen, or bathroom, etc)? It is a fundamental right for an individual who is of legal age to marry any other consenting adult person of their choosing. Who are you to push your religious dogma onto others? People just like you used the same argument you use to try to defend the practice of preventing inter-racial marriages. I think there is a quote from that book of yours that goes something like this (apologies for any innaccuracies): "Let he who judges others be judged first."

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