Iowa Supreme Court Hears Challenge to State Marriage Laws

Tue Dec 9, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST

 DES MOINES, IA, December 9, 2008 ( – The Iowa Supreme Court just concluded hearing oral argument today in a case that will ultimately either protect or destroy the definition of marriage in Iowa.

The case involves six same-sex couples who at various times in 2004 and 2005 applied for marriage certificates to the Polk County Recorder and Polk County Registrar, Timothy Brien, who denied their applications for marriage on the basis of Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act.

A suit against Brien was then brought to the courts, and trial court Judge Robert Hanson ruled the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and same-sex couples should be allowed to “marry.” Brien then appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.

In previous cases the Iowa Supreme Court has repeatedly expressed that marriage – the union of one man and one woman – is a “most vital social institution.”

Liberty Counsel, a pro-family legal organization, submitted an amicus brief on the case, arguing that the fundamental constitutional right to marry includes rights and obligations that cannot be eliminated because they come from the inherent nature of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, rather than from a state-sanctioned union of any two people of the same-sex who seek the state’s seal of approval.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Virtually every court that has considered challenges to traditional marriage has correctly concluded that judges have no authority to rewrite the definition of marriage. Courts are not proselytizing engines of radical social change.

“Marriage between one man and one woman is a historically shared value that transcends time and cultures. Untying the knot that holds together traditional marriage will unravel the family, destabilize the culture, and hurt children. After listening to the questions and comments of the judges today, I believe the Iowa Supreme Court will do the right thing and uphold the marriage laws.”

The video of the oral argument may be viewed on KCCI’s website at

Keep this news available to you and millions more

Your gift will spread truth, defeat lies, and save lives

Share this article