From The Associated Press-
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Iowa Supreme Court says the state's same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples, making it the third state where gay marriage is legal.
In a unanimous ruling issued Friday, the court upheld a 2007 Polk County District Court judge's ruling that the law violated the state constitution.
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 claimed that Hanson's ruling violated the separation of powers and the issue should be left to the Legislature.
The court rules that gay marriage would be legal in three weeks, starting April 24.
The ruling is viewed as a victory for the gay rights movement in Iowa and elsewhere, and a setback for social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families.
The decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the fourth nationwide, to allow same-sex marriages.
Read the summary: Iowa's Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage.
Read the full opinion: Iowa's decison on same-sex marriage.