A Statement from NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter

(San Francisco, CA, April 3, 2009)—“Today, the Iowa Supreme Court recognized that the constitutional guarantee of equal protection requires that same- sex couples have ‘full access to the institution of civil marriage.’ The ruling makes clear that civil unions or domestic partnerships cannot meet the demands of full constitutional equality.

“We hope the California Supreme Court will uphold the essential principle of equality regardless of political controversy, just as the Iowa Supreme Court has done. The eyes of California and the world are now on the California Supreme Court, which must determine whether equal protection means equal, and whether Californians will continue to share that equality in the freedom to marry.”

The California Supreme Court is expected to rule on the validity of Proposition 8, which altered the California Constitution to eliminate the right to marry for same-sex couples, by June 3, 2009. For more information about NCLR’s Proposition 8 legal challenge, visit www.nclrights.org.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.


The National Black Justice Coalition is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Our mission is to end racism and homophobia. NBJC envisions a world where all people are fully empowered to participate safely, openly and honestly in family, faith and community, regardless of race, gender-identity, or sexual orientation.