Bulletin: MU2009005

Date:
April 17, 2009
To:
All offices issuing policies insuring Iowa real property
RE:
Same Sex Marriage in Iowa

Dear Associates:

In a decision on April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the Iowa statute that defines as, and limits a valid marriage to, one between a male and a female, [Sec. 595.2.1, Code of Iowa], thus legalizing same-sex marriages in Iowa. This decision, Varnum, et.al, v. O'Brien, No. 07-1499, will become effective unless a petition for rehearing is filed by April 27, 2009. A marriage license could be issued on or after that date, and the parties could wed on or after April 30, 2009, following a 3-day waiting period.

Accordingly, on and after April 30, 2009, same sex couples, if duly married, will be legally entitled to all of the rights, benefits and privileges of marriage as it was conventionally understood in Iowa prior to this decision. Since the parties to a same sex marriage will be married in every respect, this decision will, therefore, have an impact on underwriting, particularly in the areas of dissolution of marriage, inheritance, and homestead issues, to mention just the most obvious.

If you have questions relating to this bulletin, please contact your local underwriting personnel or Stewart Legal Services.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None