December 10, 2008
Same-Sex Marriage - Iowa
As the New York Times reports on Iowa's same-sex marriage case argued on December 9:
The legal core of the case, Varnum v. Brien, is whether the state’s 10-year-old law defining a “valid” marriage as only “between a male and female” violates the Iowa Constitution’s guarantees of equal treatment and due process.
A trial court judge ruled last year that the law was unconstitutional and that a dozen gay men and lesbians had been wrongly denied marriage licenses in Polk County, which includes the state capital, Des Moines. The state appealed the ruling, leading to Tuesday’s oral arguments.
But the technical details of the law and the Constitution were only part of a free-wheeling discussion lasting nearly two hours in which the seven justices repeatedly interrupted the lawyers, demanding that they parse and defend their positions.
The Iowa court has posted a video stream on the oral argument, but for the moment it doesn't seem to be working, check here: www.judicial.state.ia.us.
Copies of briefs, court documents, facts sheets, and press releases are available from Lambda Legal Defense Fund here.
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