poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, May 10, 2004

Iowa court urged to throw out antigay suit

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, along with other local organizations, filed a brief on Monday asking the Iowa state supreme court to reject an attempt made by antigay groups to insert themselves into a case in which an Iowa district court granted two Sioux City women a request to terminate their civil union. "A judge, in his rightful authority, has addressed this matter," said Camilla Taylor, staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest regional office. "Iowa courts consistently resolve matters between couples living together, regardless of the status of their relationship, whether married or not. A handful of legislators and others have tried to insinuate themselves into this particular case because this time it involves two lesbians. It's clear these groups don't like gay people, but that doesn't give them the right to interfere in other people's personal lives."

The two women filed papers to dissolve their civil union in August 2003. The judge in their case noted he was resolving a legal matter between a couple, as the state's courts routinely do. In February a group of state legislators, a congressman, and a northwestern Iowa church filed a petition to be heard by the Iowa supreme court. They have filed a lawsuit asserting that the judge in Woodbury County lacked authority to declare the rights of the two women and terminate their civil union, and have asked the state high court to hear their case.

Lambda Legal's brief, signed by the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU, and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Central Iowa, is urging the court to throw the case out. The brief argues that none of the parties involved in the challenge have legal standing to interfere in the case because they aren't harmed by the Woodbury County judge's decision. The brief also points out that Iowa law permits a court to terminate a civil union, so members of the couple can move on with certainty about their legal rights, plan financially, and start new families.


Effort to get marriage license hits snag
 By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun

DURHAM -- District Judge Craig Brown on Monday dismissed a groundbreaking lawsuit that sought to compel Durham County to issue a marriage license for two men.

Agreeing with the county attorney, Brown said the case involved constitutional questions that more properly belong in Superior Court, where judges have greater authority than in District Court.

"Judges don't make the law," Brown said. "The Legislature makes law, and judges interpret it."

Lawyer Cheri Patrick, representing marriage-license applicants Richard Mullinax and Perry Pike, said she would refile the case in Superior Court soon.


P'Town To Ignore Ban On Out-Of-State Gay Marriages
by Newscenter Staff

(Provincetown, Massachusetts)  Provincetown's Board of Selectmen voted Monday night to ignore a directive from Gov. Mitt Romney and allow gay couples who reside outside Massachusetts to marry when same-sex marriage becomes legal in the state next Monday.

The board decided to allow any couple who applies for a license to be granted one as long as the parties attest that they know of no legal impediment to their union.

Romney's order to clerks across the state not to issue licenses to same-sex couples from outside Massachusetts is based on a 1913 law that says marriage licenses cannot be issued to out-of-state couples if their marriages would be "void" in the couples' home states.  The until now seldom used law dates back to a period when interracial marriage was illegal. 

The directive came as a severe blow to the owners of inns and other tourist spots in the popular gay resort at the tip of Cape Cod who were hoping to cash in on a stampede of gay couples from across the country. 


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