From Jason Hancock at the Iowa Independent:

The legal challenge to Iowa’s same-sex marriage ban will finally come to a close tomorrow, when the Iowa Supreme Court issues its ruling in the case of Varnum vs. Brien.

The Court is expected to post its decision on the Judicial Branch Web site by 8:30 a.m. Friday.

The case involves six same-sex Iowa couples who sued Polk County Recorder Timothy Brien in 2005 after his office denied them marriage licenses. The lawsuit argued that it would be unlawful to ban same-sex couples from marriage based on the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Iowa Constitution. The state’s Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1998 by a 40-9 margin in the Senate and an 89-10 margin in the House, defines marriage as being solely between a man and a woman.

Iowa District Court Judge Robert Hanson sided with the plaintiffs, but later put a hold on his decision awaiting a verdict from the Supreme Court.

Honestly don’t know what is going to happen here.  I sincerely hope that Iowa is not the first state in the Midwest to allow same sex marriage.  I hope they overturn Judge Hanson’s decision because it is flawed.  It is frustrating that what would probably never pass at the ballot box has the potential to become law by judicial fiat.

I think it is time for Iowa to have a marriage amendment.  Governor Chet Culver has said that he would call for a special session to deal with a Supreme Court verdict that would allow same-sex marriage.  He may have to put his money where his mouth is and extend this year’s General Assembly to do just that.

Update: Welcome readers from The Point, bad news I’m afraid.

5 comments
  1. “It is frustrating that what would probably never pass at the ballot box has the potential to become law by judicial fiat.”

    Unfortunately this happens all the time and is often the way around the will of the majority.

  2. “It is frustrating that what would probably never pass at the ballot box has the potential to become law by judicial fiat.”

    Thank goodness Brown v. Board of Education and its related civil rights changes were decided by judicial fiat, because they probably never would have passed at the ballot box. Not saying I'm for gay marriage, but it is very easy to cling to the majority when one's views align with the majority and cling to one's interpretation of the constitution (state or federal) when one is in the minority.

    If the majority of Iowans favored gay marriage, would the statement read “It is frustrating that what would probably never pass judicial interpretation of the constitution has the potential to become law by virtue of the ballot box.”?

  3. Hey Brian,

    Thanks for the history lesson. I'd encourage you to bring that example up to a majority of African=American you may know. They would likely look at you strange because they don't see this as a civil rights issue. Why do you think Proposition 8 passed in California? Those same African-American voters who came out in droves for President Obama also voted yes for Proposition 8 – overwhelmingly as exit polls showed.

    It's not a civil rights issue. Homosexuals want special rights. They have the same right to marry that you and I do – to a member of the opposite sex. Also this is based on behavior not something that can't be changed like race.

    The difference between the judicial system of the 50s and earlier and what we see today is strict constructionalism vs. “living and breathing” interpretation of the Constitution – if it is even referred to at all.

    Brown v. Board of Education's decision was sound as the Constitution was very clear about Civil Rights. It was there already – it simply wasn't being enforced. Congress undergirded that later with the Civil Rights Act.

    Regarding my statement, no I wouldn't say that. I think that homosexual couples should be allowed visitation rights, have joint contracts, etc. I just don't want the definition of marriage changed, and then have that change crammed down the throats of our kids.

  4. It appears to have been approved.

    BTW – I don't think a constitution amendment is a terribly good path to go, particularly when it's essentially a 'hold back the inevitable tide' manuever against what is clearly a changing view.

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