The Iowa Supreme Court has tossed out a lawsuit that challenged a “lesbian divorce.” A northwest Iowa judge dissolved the Vermont “civil union” of two women. A group of conservative lawmakers and a LeMars church filed a lawsuit, asking the state’s highest court to rule the judge had no authority to grant that divorce. The chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court wrote the opinion, saying the group that challenged the divorce had no legal standing to intervene.
Chief Justice Louis Lavorato wrote the unanimous opinion, and said “Iowa law has never permitted such unwarranted interference in other peoples’ cases. Simply having an opinion” on the case, according to Lavorato, “does not suffice.” He also said letting this group challenge this divorce would open the flood gates for any outsider who might want to challenge a divorce, a child custody case or property dispute.
The justices also ruled that they did not see how the lesbian divorce “harmed” or “injured” the lawmakers’ own marriages. The ruling did not address whether the district court judge had the authority to grant the divorce. That apparently means the “divorce” of Kimberly Brown and Jennifer Perez stands. State Representative Carmine Boal, a Republican from Ankeny, was one of the legislators who challenged the lesbian divorce.
“We’re disappointed…because we worry about the long-term implications of the judge’s actions,” Boal says. Boal says she signed on to the lawsuit because she wanted to protect “traditional” marriage. “I feel strongly that…marriage should be between one man and one woman and a lot of things are decided by lawsuits,” Boal says.