04/09/09 AP (posted to The Herald, South Carolina):
Shannon Price Minter is legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and particpated in the oral arguments in the Prop. 8 litigation.
Minter said Iowa's ruling "was important to California in two ways. First, the Iowa court stresses 'that equal protection is such an essential structural foundation of our system of government' that it can't be left to the ballot initiative process. Second, Iowa justices adopted the California Supreme Court's analysis of why providing a separate status for same sex couples is inherently unequal."
(I find no support in the Varnum ruling for the first of Minter's assertions, though I would welcome reader comment.)
William Eskridge, a professor at Yale Law School and scholar on the gay marriage issue, said "the Iowa decision actually relies on the California decision ... I think that both their legal analysis and their unanimity was surely influenced by the California decision, which they lavishly quote." But, he added, "I don't believe that will influence the Chief Justice and the majority of the court."
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