Saturday, May 05, 2007

Interesting Cases in Iowa and Connecticut

Marriage equality is going to court in Iowa and Connecticut.

In Connecticut:

(Hartford, Connecticut) The Connecticut Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear arguments May 14 challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

The case began two and a half years ago, after eight same-sex couples were refused marriage licenses.

Last July a lower court ruled that said same-sex couples do not need marriage because they already are entitled to civil unions. (story)

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the Boston-based legal group that won same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, is handing the case.

It argues that denying same-sex couples access to marriage violates the state constitution in two ways: gay and lesbian citizens are denied both equal protection and
due process.

GLAD says that when lawmakers debated and enacted the civil union statute, they recognized that same-sex couples have the same capacity for love and commitment and the same need for protections under marriage laws as heterosexual couples. By calling it a civil union rather than a marriage the state is creating a separate but equal entity.

In Iowa:

(Des Moines, Iowa) A Des Moines judge was told Friday that preventing same-sex couples from marrying violates the Iowa state constitution.

Attorneys for six same-sex couples are seeking a summary judgment striking down the state's so-called Defense of Marriage Act. A summary judgment is ruling issued without a trial because the facts are overwhelming. ...

Papers filed with the court in January included affidavits from the same-sex couples in the lawsuit explaining first-hand to the court why they want to marry and the harms they suffer from being denied this right.

Also included were friend of the court briefs by faith leaders and religious groups from across the state which support of the right for same-sex couples to marry.

In one amicus brief Dr. Michael Lamb, a world-renowned child developmental psychologist said that "children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents."

Lamb has more than 30 years of research in the field of child development and is the former head of the Section on Social and Emotional Development of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development within the National Institutes of Health. He held that position for 17 years.

"There is nothing about the sex or sexual orientation of a parent that affects that parent's capacity to be a good parent or that affects a child's healthy development," he said in the brief.