Friday, April 03, 2009

Marriage liveblog

Marriage liveblog

Good morning from the Johnson County Administration Building where we are waiting for the ruling.

My computer is still in the shop so this is my first phone liveblog.

Recorder Kim Painter brought coffee and rolls for the crowd of 20.

The court site seems to be overloaded.

Janelle Rettig is showing Painter pictures: "Here you are telling us we can't get married" in 2004 (when a big group of people came in to test the law).

Other electeds here; Supervisor Rod Sullivan, Rep. Mary Mascher and County Attorney Janet Lyness waiting to interpret. (She has a ruling in the Fry murder trial at 10--busy day.)

Rep. Vicki Lensing calls with the ruling and marriage is OK! Cheers all around, many hugs and tears of joy

"Open the gates," shouts someone.

350,000 hits on court site.

No additonal details. "We have to read the ruling" says Painter.

Details trickle in - not today says Lyness. wait for procedendo, usually a couple weeks. Sounds like it was not sent back to Legislature. Appeal to US Supremes unlikely since this is based on IA constitution. "The district court decision was so clear and so well thought out I couldn't see the supreme court overturning it," says Lyness.

"I have that constitutional amendment in State Government and that is not going anywhere" says Mascher. "It missed the funnel." Says possible legislation would leave religious institutions alone.

"All my kids are now treated equally" says Robin Butler's mom. Talk of tax returns, Canada (Janelle and Robin were married there in 2003 so can't get married here, because they can't swear they aren't already married.)

Decision unanimous, Lyness not surprised.

Mascher says this could be a big economic development tool for Iowa because of no residency requirement. "If I were the Sheraton or the Riverside casino I'd be putting together a wedding package now," says Janelle Rettig.

Mascher says legislators discussed the issue in a Democratic caucus yesterday and while some members support the constitutional amendment, people understand fairness and equality. "They may not like gay marriage, but they get fairness." The passage of the civil rights and bullying bills helped. "We passed those and no one got beat because of it."

Painter says the first couple has arrived and she's keeping the application on file.

"I'm so proud to live here," says Mascher. "It's a super day to be Iowans."

Full ruling here
(pdf). Marriages start Friday, April 24.

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