Iowa is the 29th U.S. state, admitted to the Union on December 28, 1846. Its capital city is Des Moines.

LGBT Rights in Iowa: Same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa under a unanimous state Supreme Court decision on April 3, 2009. Marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples in Iowa for the first time on April 27, 2009. Since 2007, Iowa has outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Iowa's hate crime law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity. Joint adoptions by same-sex parents have been legal since a ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2008. Iowa law allows individuals and married couples, regardless of sexual orientation, to adopt.

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Mike Huckabee: ‘I’m not homophobic … this is the right side of the Bible’

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on Tuesday told an Iowa audience that he is not a hater, not homophobic, and is merely standing on the "right side of the Bible." [ Read more → ]

Judge: Married same-sex couple can’t divorce in Alabama

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A judge ruled Wednesday that two women who were legally married in Iowa can't divorce in Alabama, which doesn't recognize same-sex marriages. [ Read more → ]
Nick Rhoades

Iowa Supreme Court hears appeal of man convicted of HIV notification law

Monday, March 10, 2014
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Supreme Court is considering whether to uphold the conviction of an Iowa man with HIV who was imprisoned for not telling a partner he carried the virus when they had sex in 2008. [ Read more → ]

Poll: Iowa voters concede gay marriage has had no negative effect on their lives

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Almost five years after the Iowa Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, 78 percent of voters in the state say it's either had a positive impact or no impact at all on their lives. [ Read more → ]
The Des  Moines RegisterWayne Shimer

Clerk says he was chastised for ‘feminine behavior,’ fired because he’s gay

Monday, February 24, 2014
DES MOINES, Iowa -- An Iowa man is suing a convenience store chain he claims fired him because he's gay, and alleges in court documents that he was chastised by his former boss for "feminine behavior." [ Read more → ]
St. Louis Post-DispatchPastor Matt Hunt presides over the wedding of Carley Mitchell (left) and Kara Quartz-Mitchell.

Iowa pastor converts record store into same-sex wedding chapel

Monday, November 25, 2013
KEOKUK, Iowa -- An Iowa record store owner is hoping to use his business space for same-sex marriages, a move that could prove competitive with nearby Illinois. [ Read more → ]
David Wiggins

Anti-gay activists spent $833K in failed effort to oust pro-gay marriage judge

Friday, October 25, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa — Activist organizations spent $833,000 in Iowa last year trying to influence voters to decide whether to keep an Iowa Supreme Court judge who supported same-sex marriage, according to a new report that analyzed spending by special-interest groups and political parties. [ Read more → ]
Nick Rhoades

Iowa man appeals conviction that he violated HIV transmission law

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa -- A gay rights organization says it will appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court the conviction of an Iowa man charged with violating the state's HIV transmission law. [ Read more → ]
Gortz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa.

Iowa venue that refuses gay weddings sues Civil Rights Commission

Friday, October 11, 2013
GRIMES, Iowa -- The owners of a popular Iowa wedding venue have filed a lawsuit against the state's Civil Rights Commission in response to a complaint against them for refusing to host same-sex weddings. [ Read more → ]
Nick Rhoades

Court upholds conviction of man who didn’t tell sexual partner he was HIV+

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An Iowa man violated the state's HIV transmission law because he didn't disclose he was infected, even though his partner did not acquire the virus and their encounter posed a low risk of transmission, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. [ Read more → ]
Vice President Joe Biden speaks during Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin's annual fundraising steak fry dinner, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Indianola, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Biden at Iowa fundraiser: Marriage equality is ‘the civil rights of our day’

Monday, September 16, 2013
Vice-President Joe Biden, speaking at a high profile fundraiser in Iowa on Sunday, took the opportunity to trumpet his own accomplishments, including his support for same-sex marriage that many credit was the catalyst that helped President Barack Obama to finally "evolve" on the issue. [ Read more → ]
Nick Rhoades

Man appeals sex offender conviction in HIV notification law

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa man with HIV sentenced to 25 years in prison for not telling a sex partner that he carried the virus appealed to the Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday. [ Read more → ]

Another setback for NOM: Iowa ethics board to keep executive in investigation

Thursday, August 22, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted Wednesday not to remove its executive director from an investigation into whether the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) violated state law by not disclosing campaign donors. [ Read more → ]
National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown at an anti-gay marriage rally.

Iowa ethics board to investigate National Organization for Marriage

Thursday, August 8, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted Thursday to investigate whether a national group that opposes gay marriage violated state law. [ Read more → ]

Iowa couple turned away from wedding facility because they are gay

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
GRIMES, Iowa -- A same-sex couple in Iowa says they were turned away from a wedding venue facility after the owners found out they are gay. [ Read more → ]
AJ Betts

Bullied gay teen is fifth suicide at Iowa high school in past 5 years

Monday, July 29, 2013
PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — Alexander (AJ) Betts, a 16-year-old gay teen, took his own life over the weekend, becoming the fifth student from a suburban Des Moines, Iowa, high school to do so in the past five years. [ Read more → ]

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz: Pray to stop the ‘assault on marriage’

Sunday, July 28, 2013
The Christian Broadcasting Network has released more footage from the recent Religious Right summit in Iowa organized by David Lane and featuring speakers like U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). [ Read more → ]
Heather (left) and Melissa Gartner, with daughter Mackenzie.

Group says Iowa officials stalling on birth certificates for children of lesbian parents

Saturday, July 27, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa — The state's largest gay advocacy group is accusing the Iowa Department of Public Health of needlessly delaying listing both partners in lesbian couples on their children's birth certificates, despite an Iowa Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that it must do so. [ Read more → ]
Matthew Shepard

Iowa school won’t allow ‘Laramie Project’ – opts for more ‘family friendly’ fare

Monday, July 22, 2013
OTTUMWA, Iowa — Administrators at a southeast Iowa high school have halted plans for a student production of "The Laramie Project," but the show will go on at a local performing arts center. [ Read more → ]

Latest polls mixed on marriage equality, discrimination, religious freedom

Saturday, July 13, 2013
The latest polls released this week affirm growing support for marriage equality in several states around the nation, as well as growing support for LGBT-inclusive workplace protections. But another poll suggests religious freedom should trump discrimination laws. [ Read more → ]
Johnson County courthouse in Iowa City.

Settlement reached in transgender woman’s restroom discrimination complaint

Friday, June 21, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Johnson County, Iowa, and its sheriff's department have reached a settlement with a transgender woman over the courthouse's restroom policy. [ Read more → ]

Gay couple awarded $147K in Council Bluffs, Iowa discrimination suit

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — A jury in Council Bluffs, Iowa, has awarded a gay couple $147,000 in their discrimination lawsuit. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa)

Iowa governor says he’ll try again to advance statewide anti-bullying effort

Sunday, June 9, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa — A bill designed to crack down on so-called cyber-bullying failed to advance in the Iowa state legislature this year, but Gov. Terry Branstad plans to keep working to toughen Iowa's anti bullying laws. [ Read more → ]
Bob Vander Plaats

Iowa anti-gay activist explains his opposition to gay marriage: ‘It’s awful’

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls on Monday took on the debate about legalizing same-sex marriage in South Dakota by airing a report on how Iowans are faring under that state’s four-year-old marriage equality law. [ Read more → ]
Brigitte Van Nice

Ex-Iowa official guilty of fraud in issuing marriage license to Fla. couple

Monday, May 6, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A former rural Iowa court official pleaded guilty Monday to forgery for filing false documents to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple from central Florida, in the first case of its kind in Iowa. [ Read more → ]
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