Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Other 48: If California Indeed Sets the Pace in This Marriage Equality Marathon, Which States Will Be the Next to Cross the Finish Line?

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Other 48: If California Indeed Sets the Pace in This Marriage Equality Marathon, Which States Will Be the Next to Cross the Finish Line?

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

AS GAY ACTIVISTS CELEBRATE MAY'S California supreme court victory (and prepare for the next battle in November), they're also anticipating the next states to follow in the Golden State's footsteps.

Gary Buseck, legal director of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, has high hopes for Connecticut. The Connecticut supreme court is currently deciding in Kerrigan and Mock v. Connecticut Department of Health whether limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional-despite the state's civil union law that offers same-sex couples the same legal benefits married Connecticut couples have. "I think the court is in a good position to bring us the third state with full marriage equality," says Buseck, who is anxious to hear a ruling. GLAD argued this case before the Connecticut high court more than a year ago, and a decision is expected any day.

Lambda Legal has yet to argue its case before the Iowa supreme court. While it has fully briefed the case--brought on behalf of six same-sex couples denied marriage licenses in Iowa--the court hasn't yet set a date to hear oral arguments. Expect Lambda to argue, as it did in California, that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the equal protection and due process guarantees in the Iowa state constitution. While arguments are expected in late 2008 or early 2009, it could take more than a year for the court to hand down a ruling, says Jon Davidson, Lambda Legal's legal director.

Then there's New Jersey, which could become the first state to enact marriage equality legislatively rather than via court ruling. …

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