Attorney general issues statement on gay marriage ruling

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has just issued a statement on today's Iowa Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.  Read it below.

Statement from Attorney General Tom Miller:

"The Court has issued a clear and well-reasoned opinion.  I believe that the Supreme Court’s decision is right, based on Iowa Constitutional law principles regarding equal protection.  It is noteworthy that the decision was unanimous.

"Our office is working with state and local government on practical questions of implementing the decision.  As the decision itself noted, it takes effect in 21 days, on April 24 when procedendo issues, if there is no petition filed for rehearing."

Additional information from the Attorney General's Office:

The Attorney General’s Office has advised county recorders/registrars as follows on implementation of the Court’s decision:

The Iowa Supreme Court held today that the Iowa statute which limits civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.  The Court ordered that the unconstitutional language of this statute –– Iowa Code section 595.2(1) –– must be stricken and the remaining statutory language interpreted and applied in a manner which allows gay and lesbian people “full access to the institution of civil marriage.”

The Court’s decision becomes effective upon issuance of a procedendo, which is a separate order from the Court directing the district court to proceed to judgment.  A procedendo will issue twenty-one days after the opinion is filed unless a petition for rehearing is filed. [April 24.]  Hence, the Court’s ruling does not become effective today and county recorders/registrars may not accept marriage applications from same sex couples nor issue marriage licenses to same sex couples until such time as the procedendo issues.

Upon issuance of the procedendo county recorders/registrars must issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in the same manner as licenses issued to opposite sex couples.  In addition, the Iowa Department of Public Health is revising the marriage application, marriage license, and marriage certificate forms to be consistent with the Court’s order and those forms will be available from the Department prior to issuance of the procedendo.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.