Kicking A Lion

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Iowa Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Gay Marriage Case

The Iowa Supreme Court is ready to hear oral arguments Tuesday in a gay marriage case that USA Today reports, “could echo throughout the nation and be far more difficult to challenge at the ballot box than a high-profile ruling in California, legal experts say.”

If Varnum v. Brien is decided in favor of the six same-sex couples who filed the case, Iowa will become the first Midwestern state to legalize gay marriage according to Iowa law professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig.

Iowa legislators passed a Defense of Marriage Act in 1998 but the state currently has no constitutional prohibition against gay marriage. Passing an antigay constitutional marriage measure retroactively would be an involved process requiring a simple-majority vote of both the Iowa House and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions followed by a majority approval of voters in the next general election.

“This is the heartland of America — a place where family values are revered,” says University of Iowa law professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig, who signed a court brief supporting gay-marriage rights. “It would be an incredibly strong signal for the Iowa Supreme Court to find that same-sex marriages are legal.” (The Advocate)

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Written by kickingalion

December 8, 2008 at 4:29 pm

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