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Our mission is to support full equality for LGBT individuals living in Iowa through grassroots efforts and education. Formed in 2005, the organization has been an effective advocate for the community. In coalition with progressive and political allies, recent achievements include civil rights legislation to protect the LGBT community against employment and housing discrimination, safe schools legislation establishing anti-bullying policies in Iowa’s schools, and defeating anti-marriage legislation.
One Iowa works in partnership with Equality Federation to acheive our mission of full equality for LGBT Iowans.
THE ROUTE TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN IOWA
In 2005 six Iowa same sex couples represented by Lambda Legal filed suit against Polk County, claiming Iowa’s law denying civil marriage to same-sex couples violated the equal protection guarantees of the Iowa Constitution. In August of 2007, an Iowa District Court ruled in favor of the couples and the case was sent to the Iowa Supreme Court on appeal. On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, agreed with the lower court, clearing the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry in Iowa. On the evening of April 3, 2009 thousands of Iowans gathered across the state to celebrate the historic victory. Among the crowds and speeches, one phrase reverberated across Iowa: "Today, I’m so proud to be an Iowan!"
WHY MARRIAGE MATTERS IOWA
Immediately following the April 3, 2009 Supreme Court ruling, anti-equality opponents wasted no time trying to undermine the historic victory. No less than four attempts were made at the Iowa State Legislature to challenge the ruling. Through the work of One Iowa, the efforts of our allies and crucial support from fair-minded legislators, each of these attempts failed.
However, the struggle to maintain marriage equality is far from over. During the 2011 legislative session, we saw a renewed effort to repeal marriage equality with the passage of a marriage amendment through the House—HJR6.
In 2012, One Iowa launched a new public education initiative called Why Marriage Matters Iowa to shift the conversation from politics back to people. We are focused on having meaningful conversations in every corner of the state about the importance of marriage, love, commitment, and family and we are working with our supporters to give them the tools to take this conversation to their communities. Click here for more information: www.whymarriagemattersiowa.org
For media inquiries or help identifying local spokespeople, please contact communications director Molly Tafoya at 515.288.4019 x207.