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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Same Sex Union Gains Ground in Midwest

In a highly controversial ruling from the Iowa Supreme Court, same sex couples received a green-light for marriage when a state law banning such marriages was determined unconstitutional. In a 63 page decision (the first 6-pages of which listed a series of opposing amicus groups that had legal representation in the briefing of the case), the Iowa Supreme Court held that the state law banning gay marriage violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by treating same-sex couples differently than other couples without a sufficient government interest justifying the classification.

The full decision of the Iowa Supreme Court is attached in the link below:
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/us/20090403iowa-text.pdf

The case moved the battle over same sex marriage from the coastal metropolitan centers of the U.S. to its heartland. To date, only Massachusetts and Vermont allow same sex marriages; California did so for about six-months until that law was repealed by voter initiative in the last election in November.

The case also comes on the heels of an unusual ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals which allowed a same-sex couple to present evidence to a family court judge relative to the partners/parents parenting time requests once their homosexual relationship terminated following their mutual adoption of three children. That case, itself the subject of an entry in this lawblog, is discussed in the attached article from the Chicago Tribune:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-gayadoption,0,2545662.story

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