In 2005, six same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in Iowa filed a lawsuit in Polk County.
In 2007, the Polk County District Court ruled in favor of the couples in Varnum v. In 1998, following court decisions on same-sex unions in other states that suggested that denying the right to marry to same-sex couples was incompatible with the equal protection clause of a state constitution like Iowa's, Iowa legislators who hoped to avoid a similar court challenge tried without success to pass a statute to prohibit marriage on the part of gay and lesbian couples. It's not a final win, because the case is being appealed.
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But just a few years ago if people were asked if we could get a judge in Iowa to strike down the exclusion from marriage, right there in the heartland, I think most people would have said we couldn’t.