Iowa High Court Sees Gay Marriages Debate

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A debate on whether to legalize gay marriage in Iowa will head before the state's supreme court, Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed by six homosexual couples, claims Iowa's law defining marriage between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.

Attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group, will represent state legislators in favor of the law.

 "The Iowa marriage law is simple, settled, and overwhelmingly supported by Iowans," ADF senior legal counsel Douglas Napier said. "There's simply no legitimate reason to consider redefining marriage."

The case against Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act has moved through the state's legal system for more than three years.

The suit was originally filed in 2005 by Lambda Legal on behalf of the same-sex couples. Despite support from several lawmakers, a judge ruled in favor of the couples in 2007, and an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court was filed in response.

"The judge simply ignored the law in favor of redefining marriage," Napier explained. "The legislature voted nearly unanimously to re-affirm marriage as one man and one woman just 10 years ago."

After oral arguments Tuesday, the high court could take as long as a year to rule.

If Iowa legalizes same-sex marriage, it will be the first state in the Midwest to do so.

Currently Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only states to allow same-sex marriage. Proposition 8 ended same-sex marriage in California last month.

Sources: Associated Press, Alliance Defense Fund

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