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Sep 01, 2007 News: Equal Marriage on Debate in Iowa
By Danny Sonnenschein

(USA) - The joys of equal marriage didn’t last long in US state Iowa. The hopes of many Gay couples were bitterly disappointed when judge Robert Hanson ordered a halt to his own ruling which declared restrictions of marriage to heterosexuals only as unconstitutional. Just a day after issuing his ground-breaking decision, Hanson complied to the request of a county prosecutor that no more marriage licenses be given to gay couples until the Supreme Court has considered the appeal submitted by the prosecutor. Luckily, two Iowa State University students managed to get their marriage license and be married by a a Unitarian minister whom they were able to win for their case.

The now happily married couple, Sean Fritz (24), and Tim McQuillan (21) still can't believe their luck. Fritz was quoted by Reuters sying they made the decision to marry instantly the night after learning about the judge's decision and then rushed to a store to get their wedding rings.

"He instant messaged me over the Internet that this was going on," one of the young men reported. "When he picked me up around 9 o'clock he proposed to me on the spot. Besides the obvious shock, I still haven't recovered. Maybe it'll set in later this week."

The stay of the ruling create a temporary confusion on status of their marriage and leaving other Gay couples in Iowa in uncertainty.

Republican politicians immediately attacked the Gay-friendly court ruling showing a remarkable disrespect for the independence of the courts as guaranteed by the US constitution.

Mitt Romney, potential candidate for the presidency and a former Massachusetts governor, called the decision “another example of a ruling by an activist court,” an expression introduced by „The Powell Manifesto“ (1971). Romney added the ruling demonstrates the “need” for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting equal marriages for Gay couples.

Christopher Rants, Iowa’s House Republican Leader called the pro civil rights ruling a "shocking reversal of the will of the people” of Iowa. He made Democrats “responsible” of failing to support his homophobic constitution amendment.

In the US, twenty-six states prohhibit Gay couples from marriage because of anti-Gay constitutional amendments. In three states, the institution of civil unions exists. The state of Massachusetts is the only state recognizing marriages of Gay people, but federal legislation called “Defence of Marriage Act” nullifies many of the rights, including the right for a visum for a non-US partner.

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