Friday, April 03, 2009

Iowa Supremes Step Up

Varnum v. Brien, no. 07-1499 (Iowa April 3, 2009)

In a decision that is sure to provoke commentary among a lot of people, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously held today that the state's statute that limited civil marriage to a man and a woman was violative of the equal protection clause of the Iowa constitution.

In doing so, the court affirmed the lower court ruling handed down by Judge Hanson in Polk County last year.

The court applied a standard of intermediate scrutiny and determined that none of the stated objectives of the statute banning gay marriage had been met, and determined that none of the objectives of the statute were being met by exclusion, and did not further any important governmental objective.

Iowa thus becomes another state where there appears to be a newly emergent consensus about the right to marry under equal protection principles.

I'm quite sure the folks who are in the business of issuing marriage licenses just got a boost in their custom. And the folks who find demonic possession under every bedstead in the land just had an uptick, too.


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