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Iowa gay marriage ruling could be overturned sooner than thought

by: Matt

Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 16:02:42 PM EDT

Conventional wisdom was that overturning the ruling allowing gay marriage in Iowa could not happen until 2012 or even 2014.

Turns out it could happen as early as 2011:

There's another option for opponents of gay marriage who hope to amend Iowa's constitution and ban same-sex marriage in Iowa. An Iowa Supreme Court ruling issued last Friday paves the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry in Iowa later this month.

Under the traditional method of amending the state's constitution, 2012 is the earliest an amendment banning gay marriage could be placed on the ballot. But Secretary of State Michael Mauro says in 2010, Iowans can vote to convene a constitutional convention to consider amendments to the document.

"If it were to happen, it opens up many possibilities to make all kinds of amendments," Mauro says. "It's wide open."

If a constitutional convention comes up with an amendment or amendments to place before Iowa voters, a special election could be scheduled in 2011 according to Mauro. Mauro, the state's top election official, says a constitutional convention could not rewrite the entire state constitution and would be restricted to proposing amendments -- but there's no limit on the number of amendments which could be proposed.

Iowa voters get asked every 10 years whether to hold a constitutional convention. The last 40 years they've said no. The GOP could pour a lot of money into Iowa next year to get them to say yes.

Matt :: Iowa gay marriage ruling could be overturned sooner than thought

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