Contextualizing Varnum V. Brien: A 'Moment' in History
33 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2009
Date Written: December 14, 2009
Varnum v. Brien is the last case in a line of state constitutional law challenges in what has been a a fifteen-year campaign by LGBT public interest lawyers seeking legal recognition for same-sex couples. While the litigation may be over for now, the larger battle is just beginning. The Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling in Varnum will play a central role in this future battle. It stands as part of a major “moment” in the modern history of recognizing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. This article describes the historical context in which Varnum was litigated and identifies three important “moments” or shifts in the battle for marriage equality.
Keywords: same-sex marriage, Varnum, marriage equality, Iowa constitution, LGBT, gay, lesbian, homosexual, DOMA, defense of marriage act
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