December 10, 2008
Updates on Same-Sex Marriage: Iowa, NJ, California
The news from 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.
As the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports, the NJ Civil Union Review Commission's final report will conclude that the "state's civil unions law fails to adequately protect same-sex couples" and same-sex marriage should be allowed.
The Civil Union Review Commission report is not available yet, but an interim report and many other materials are available on the Commission's website here.
And in CALIFORNIA
as well as nationwide, protests over Proposition 8 continue. Today's action, as discussed in the LA Times here and elsewhere is a work stoppage:"Gay rights activists are encouraging people to “call in gay” to work today to demonstrate how integral gay people are to American society."
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