Iowa Gay Marriage Ruling Means Everything or Nothing

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The Iowa Supreme Court's overturning of the law banning same-sex marriage in that state either bolsters the arguments of those pushing for gay marriage in California or has nothing to do with the issue here. It depends on who you ask.

National Center for Lesbian Rights legal director Shannon Minter:

"The fact that two state supreme courts--including now a court in the heartland of our country--have now followed the California Supreme Court's holding on that issue underscores very powerfully that the Court cannot back away from that holding . . . without undermining its credibility and stature."

Yes on Proposition 8 general counsel Andy Pugno:

"It's obviously not relevant to the current California case. The decision in Iowa looks almost identical, really, to California's split decision of the Supreme Court a year ago--they were examining a regular statute only under their state constitution just as the California court did. There's no comparison to the present case, where the people have now changed our California Constitution and the court is now deciding whether they could validly do so."


And then there's Ted Casablanca on E! Online's The Awful Truth blog:

"If friggin' Iowa (no offense, babes, but California 's got way more fruits and nuts) can become the third state to pass legalized gay marriage, I really do think it's time to take this to the presidential level. At least for a nice cheerleading encouragement to his statewide supporters. . . . California's Mormon-fueled passage of Prop 8 ain't Barack's style; Iowa's high-court ruling legalizing gay marriage is. So just come out and say it and officially support gay unions already, prez! Ellen and Portia and a whole lotta other folks who helped funnel you into office would appreciate it."

For those keeping score at home, California's Supremes ruled 4-3 last May to deem as

unconstitutional state laws banning same-sex marriage. On Nov. 4, 52.3 percent of California voters approved Proposition 8, adding to the state constitution a section specifying that "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Our Supremes heard arguments March 5 on whether Proposition 8 should stand, and if it does, what should happen to the estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who wed last year; a decision is expected within the next two months or so.

Last night, Vermont became the first state to approve same-sex marriage through legislation without pressure from the courts. But, sorry, Maple Syrup State, Massachusetts, Fire Island, West Hollywood and The Castro: a western Iowa congressman says it is Iowa that will now  become the "gay Mecca."



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