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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Iowa Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: No Quick Reversal

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, relying on the equal protection and due process clauses of the Iowa Constitution. This makes the midwestern state the fourth state where gay marriage has become legal, though one, of course, California, later reversed the step by a ballot initiative. Vermont could soon become the fifth state, depending on whether the legislature overrides an expected veto by Republican Gov. Jim Douglas of same-sex marriage legislation cleared just yesterday.
In Iowa, conservatives are already demanding a state constitutional amendment to overturn the court ruling. But Iowa’s unusual system requires that constitutional amendments have to be approved by two different legislatures (which meet for two years) before going to voters for approval. The 2009 session is nearly over, and no one believes a constitutional gay marriage ban can be acted upon until 2010. So that means 2012 is the earliest point at which Iowa voters could be considering a ban. And if nothing happens in next year’s state legislative session, a vote to overturn today’s decision couldn’t happen until 2014.
Given the pace of change of public opinion in favor of same-sex marriage, I’d say couples wanting to tie the knot in Iowa don’t have to rush to the altar.

One comment on “Iowa Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: No Quick Reversal

  1. Phil on

    While this issue will continue to help conservative Christian groups in their fund raising efforts, it is long past the point of diminishing returns for the GOP as a whole.

    Reply

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