The unanimous, 69-page decision maintains a church’s right to decide who can be married under its roof, but it runs counter to the expressed opinion of a majority of Iowans who believe marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman.
The landmark ruling is guaranteed to send shock waves through politics in Iowa and beyond. With no appeal as an option, opponents say their only hope to overturn Friday’s decision is an almost-certain bid to amend the state constitution. But that path, which would eventually require a public vote, would not yield results until 2012 at the earliest.
Enactment of an amendment requires approval by consecutive General Assemblies of the Legislature — a General Assembly lasts two years — and a vote of the people.
In the meantime, Iowa remains one of three states in the nation, and the only state in the Midwest, where gays and lesbians can legally marry. The ruling takes effect April 24. Iowa has no residency requirement for marriage licenses, which virtually assures a rush of applications from out-of-state visitors. The ruling opens the marital door to an estimated 5,800 gay couples in Iowa.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Posted by lloydletta at 7:42 PM