The Iowa Supreme Court will not end the political battle over gay marriage

At 10 am central time this morning, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Varnum v Brien, a case in which six couples are challenging Iowa’s law declaring that “Only a marriage between a male and female is valid.” Polk County has appealed a district judge’s ruling last year that the statute is unconstitutional. Last night jpmassar published a good overview of the legal issues underlying Judge Robert Hanson’s ruling as well as the county’s defense of the statute. (See also Osorio’s legal primer on the case.)

If you like, you can watch a livestream of the oral arguments at the Iowa Supreme Court’s website as well as at several other media sites. You can download pdf files of the district court ruling and the briefs submitted to the Iowa Supreme Court on appeal here.

My focus in this diary is not the legal arguments, but the political case that will need to be made for marriage equality once the Supreme Court has ruled on Varnum v Brien several months from now. Follow me after the jump for more.

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Iowa Supreme Court & the Case for Equal Marriage Rights

(Thanks to jpmassar for walking us through the legal issues. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral
arguments in the case of Varnum vs. Brien. In August of 2007 Polk
County District Judge Robert Hanson ruled in that case in favor of
gay couples seeking to marry.  He determined that the statute that
prevents them from marrying, Iowa 535.2, which states in part:

“Only a marriage between a male and female is valid.”

violates the Iowa State Constitution.

Hanson then issued stay of execution of his order, but not before one
couple had legally obtained a marriage license and gotten married.

Continue on as I try to explain what might happen if the Supreme Court
upholds Hanson's decision, his logic contained in the ruling, and give
some interesting exerpts from the ruling itself.

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