Marriage and Family
The Catholic Church supports the family as a basic building block of society. This includes supporting marriage as a union of one man and one woman as well as programs that help poor families and children.
In 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down Iowa’s law which stated that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid. The Iowa bishops support amending the Iowa Constitution to recognize marriage only as a union of one man and one woman.
The government interest in continuing to encourage and support marriage are not merely legitimate, but compelling. No other institution joins together persons with the natural ability to have children, to assure that those children are properly cared for. Every child has a basic right to a mother and a father who are united in marriage. While circumstances may prevent a child from being raised by his or her own mother and father, marriage provides for the needs of a child in ordinary circumstances.
For the sake of these interests, the Catholic Church will continue to advocate for the preservation of the traditional understanding of marriage.
We also believe the state has a legitimate interest in a waiting period for a divorce, especially because of the impact on children. The state’s current waiting period serves several public policy purposes, including providing both parties with the opportunity to thoroughly contemplate the impact of divorcing and to help insure that all issues are addressed and no advantage is taken of either party.