UPDATE: Iowa court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Iowa court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- The Iowa Supreme Court says the state's same-sex marriage ban violates the consitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples.

In a unanimous ruling issued Friday, the court upheld a 2007 Polk County District Court judge's ruling that the law was unconstitutional.

The case stems from a 2005 lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization. The group filed a lawsuit on behalf of six gay and lesbian Iowa couples who were denied marriage licenses.

The suit named then-Polk County recorder and registrar Timothy Brien.

The Polk County attorney's office had claimed that Hanson's ruling violates the separation of powers and the issue should be left to the Legislature.

The decision makes Iowa the third state where same-sex marriage will be legal.

Court rules dictate that the decision will take about 21 days to be considered final. That means it will be at least several weeks before gay and lesbian couples can seek marriage licenses.

Polk County Attorney John Sarcone says his office won't ask for a rehearing, meaning the court's decision should take effect after that three-week period.

Online Executive Producer: Nate Leding

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