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Timeline of Varnum v. Brien

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 06, 2009 7:42 AM

• December 2005 — Lawsuit is filed in Polk County. The two plaintiffs are Kate and Trish Varnum, a Cedar Rapids couple, who file suit after then-Polk County Recorder Tim Brien denied the couple marriage licenses. Five other Iowa same-sex couples join the Varnums on the lawsuit.

• April 2006 — 26 state legislators move to intervene as defendants in case.

• August 2006 — Court denies the legislators’ motion to be defendants, asserting the lawmakers lack sufficient interest in the case.

• December 2006 — Court grants plaintiffs’ motion to add children as parties.

• May 2007 — Summary judgment hearing. In preceding months, the defendants moved for a summary judgment, and the plaintiffs cross-moved for a summary judgment. Such a judgment would be handed down without a full trial.

• August 2007 — Fifth District Judge Robert Hanson strikes down Iowa’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act banning gay marriage in Iowa, prompting around 20 gay couples to apply for marriage licenses the following day. The judge then stays his ruling, halting further marriage applications until the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling on the county’s appeal.

• December 2008 — Oral arguments begin with the Iowa Supreme Court.

• April 2009 — The Iowa Supreme Court rules unanimously a law banning same-sex marriage in Iowa is unconstitutional.

Source: Lambda Legal


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